• Laurie Swigart

LIGHTING EXERCISE

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What I would recommend is to take 3 lighting instruments into a room with pigeon lates or trees (or any other method of putting a light up without a grid or catwalk. What you are looking for is a light lab type of set up. Use the smallest instruments you have.) Take some sort of pole or coat tree or whatever you can find, put a piece of light colored cloth on it, put it in the middle of the room, and play.


See what angle and color do for you. The books are great for getting the theory. I would recommend, after you have gotten the theory, see how it works. This process can take as long as you have to work with it. Spend a day with whatever color you can find. One day with no color, but angle and different lights. (start with one light on either side of center at a 45. Put one light behind your "subject". The most common is to have the back light from high. See what each does alone. Try groupings of two. Then try with all three. Then begin to move

them around. Don't forget the world is 3-D. Try from high and low. Just play. See how the different angles and such look. This is the fun part. Try some of the stuff you learned in the books.


(Another place to start is with 4 lights, one from each side at about 90 degrees from your "subject", one from the front, and one from the back.)


The last part is to begin to think of all things together, angle, color, and intensity. (Intensity is hard to do in a lab unless you have dimmers, then it isn't so bad.) I don't know what your resources are, but this maybe a place to start.


Don't forget, there have been many a person who have spent their lives trying to perfect the skill of lighting design. This is your first crack at it. Have fun, make a plan in your lab, and try it. As you are playing in the lab, keep track of what you did, what you liked, what you didn't like. Think about how the placement of the lights will be achieved in your theater.

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