Exercise – Atmosphere Two

I enjoyed the atmosphere exercise so much that I went on a trip to the Lake District and filmed the atmosphere there. I ended up shooting several versions of atmosphere which you can see below.

Exercise – Atmosphere Two from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

Cosy – Shot in Lakeland Plastics I included macro shots of the tea and hands reading a bird book. Then a wider shot of the tea cake. I included the general hubbub of the restaurant and then used music from iMovie, Bossa Lounger Lounge, dropping the volume to create the ambience of a record playing softly in a restaurant.

Sleet – While in the restaurant I started filming, suddenly, thunder (though I used a sound recording) and it started snowing! I considered myself very lucky that day. I filmed people escaping the sudden change in weather and a close up of the train (also lucky that it happened to arrive at that point) I included the sound of heavy rain and wailing wind.

By the Lake – I wanted to create a colourful atmosphere of being by the lake, boat engines, squalling seagulls mixed in with the reflection on the water and a sign saying danger.

Peaceful – To mix things up a little I wanted to use similar shots to create a completely different atmosphere. I chose the boat coming in softly, decreasing the volume with shots of the harbour and the swans (associated with serenity) Also I included the daffodil lined banking.

Rain again. I decided to try something different and filmed the wind wipers going up at Lakeland Plastics and then down when we were parked by the lake, I’m going to be using this in my next video of Scotland (upcoming) Focusing on the raindrops the Chinese tourists coats stood out even more, splashes of colour on the rainy day.

 

Exercise – Atmosphere

Record two very short scenes, either a single shot or a maximum of four shots that can edit together.
Clearly define the atmosphere you intend to create. Think how you can use lighting, shade and colour to achieve this.

  • Find a suitable location. Think carefully about available light and colour
  • Test how the light looks through your camera.
  • Use additional materials to create desired colour and texture within the scene.
  • Use reflectors and additional lights if they are available.
  • Record your image(s) and edit them.

Upload your sequence to the blog and edit them.

 

I wish – ChloeClik from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

At first my initial idea was to photograph someone walking in the wood, surrounding by the harmonious bird song and the crunch and crackle of twigs I felt it would have been very atmospheric. Yet the lighting would be the sun (with a few reflectors) and I felt it would be best to chose a harder situation to work with the light.

I was sitting outside enjoying myself when I thought of my poor sister who has had a terrible relapse of M.E recently plus a kidney infection. She hasn’t left the house in weeks and every time I’m in the garden or sat on the seafront I think of her and how hard it is.

With that in mind I decided to create the atmosphere of sadness. As Amber wasn’t well enough to pose I would purely film her in her natural setting of the bed and work around that and use colours and light to highlight her emotions. Then outside we would see my actors running around having a great time tossing a ball to each other or fooling about. Both would be framed. The final frame would be a pull back zoom as the door closed.

Location

Shot in the bedroom and through the window into the garden. A big contrast of light, colour and atmosphere.

Colours

Colours that denote pain, loneliness, isolation are generally pale blues, white’s, grey and black. Anything pale with no overly bold colours.

Outside my actors would wear bold and vivid colours throwing a brightly coloured ball to each other. Running around laughing, blue skies, green grass. A very happy image.

Light

In the room the lights would be off allowing dark shadows to representing the exhaustion and fatigue.

Outside the sun would be shining (plan ahead) and the blossom would be in full bloom.

Sound

Sound is imperative to creating atmosphere both by being loud and being silent. I recorded the birds singing separately and pasted it into the movie reducing the sound levels so it appeared outside. It adds a calm, tranquil effect and there’s nothing nicer when you’re ill to listen to the birds sing their hearts out.

I also added the inclusion of footsteps to correlate with my actor (effect from iMovie) beginning fading out they increase in volume introducing the arrival of a new character who appears in the next frame.

The shoot 

As we began the shoot I realised it didn’t feel quite realistic my actors running around the garden and shouting and laughing as that’s not the demeanour of my actors. Instead following the French new wave style I didn’t give my actress a script, I told her to come to the window and improvise. Just as long as she interacted with Amber in a happy and upbeat way.

I grabbed some props which have been in use, the pack of tablets for the pain, a book with an inspiring title and a message and produced a tracking shot ending up on Amber ill in bed. The colours of the bedspread are all pale blue associated with loneliness, peacefulness and sadness. The whites represented a clinical appearance and also to illustrate the source of light from the window.

Then I pulled back so the exposure was on the window and this cast Amber in a slight dark appearance reinforcing the fatigue and illness. I love the contrast of the dark and light as it’s so symbolic to how Amber is feeling. It was quite emotional doing this shoot as I remembered the times I had been like this and the pain I feel for my little sister going through such darkness.

I timed it so my actress would come to the window and was pleased she had followed the French wave and improvised with a beautiful basket of bright vibrant colours serving to increase the contrast between the outside and inside world. I also ensured she had a brightly coloured jumper. The sun was shining, the grass vibrant and my actress was cheerful waving at the exhausted Amber who weakly waved back.

Finally pulling back from the sleeping Amber (a blur to show how time has passed) and then the door closes, symbolic in it’s own right.

Look at other student’s sequences and compare your techniques.

In progress.

What works or doesn’t work?

What doesn’t work?

I was frustrated with myself that I cut the shot too soon as the waiting was taking a while but I moved fractionally and the jump was visible in the shot so I had split the scene. This happened twice. If I’d had it on a tripod it wouldn’t have been an issue but it would have lacked the natural slight motion of the shot.

My actress kept looking over to where I was filming, had my sister felt well I would have re shot this so in future I will ensure the actors have no interaction with myself as the cameraman at all.

Again I cut it too soon as I pulled backwards. The transition of going backwards wasn’t very smooth, there’s a clear stumble.

What works

Everything I worked to creating slotted into place nicely, the dark and light contrast was good highlighting the divide between the two.

If budget, time and equipment were no issue how would you change your sequences?

I would find a way to remove the chromic aberration from the window, it appears as a pale purple line whenever shot against bright backgrounds. I’d also have invested in a dolly to pull the camera back (we are making one but it’s in progress) and perhaps re shot and made the room appear darker. I did edit a version to make it darker but it lost the airy clinical feel. I would have also done some subjective shots of the room spinning.

How important is lighting.

Lighting is essential to creating mood, drawing the viewers eye and creating a scene to look how it does so in your imagination. I have a fascinating book called Light Science and Magic so am going to be doing some reading into that.

Exercise – Reflected Light

Set up a shot with a light source at one side. Frame your object closely and hold up a sheet of white paper on the other side of the frame. 

Try a few different surfaces as reflectors

  • What works best?
  • Can you achieve any interesting textures of colours using different materials.

On the day I chose to do this exercise half of my models had gone out for the day and the other was really ill so I decided I’d have to improvise with…myself. I don’t often photograph myself because I like to be behind the camera.

First I wrote up a list of possible reflectors I could use.

  • Reflector (I bought myself one for the Art of Photography, it comes with four types, gold, silver, black and white. 
  • Coloured paper (to cast different tints) 
  • Tin foil
  • Coloured metal 

First though I followed the exercise as normal.
This was myself without any reflector.

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I sat outside in the garden which was alive with sunlight.

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Sitting on the grass I set up the tripod and held up a piece of brilliant white paper. As you can see the light is fairly even on both sides whereas without the paper one side of my face would have been in shadow.

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The difference when the foil was added was quite amazing. My face changes colour gradient, comparing the two I’d say it drops to a beige tint as opposed to the bright pink with the white paper. With my smile there is an area of shadow, and texture is quite defined whereas on the other side the skin is of an even texture.

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Positioning the reflector underneath my face at a slight angle removes this texture though the glasses take on the reflection.

  • Other experimental reflections

 

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The bird bath – this was surprising and the amount of reflection over exposes my face to a brilliant white!

 

 

Tinted plastic – 

With the tint it’s good to be aware of this as you only need to wear the wrong coloured top and it will constantly serve as a reflector. I had this problem once when I was photographing my cat, I realised the pictures had a rosy hue as my top was red. When I did a photoshoot for a family I made sure I wore a plain and not bright colour.

 

 

 

 

Project 9 – Light and Colour Part Two

Viewing – Look for examples of use of colour in film to represent

  • Change of atmosphere
  • Emotion of a character
  • General mood or atmosphere of the film as a whole
  • A range of feelings, emotions or atmospheres such as love, fear, power and joy

Add your observations to the blog.

Change of atmosphere – Hetty Feather 

I was thinking about the role of colour for this exercise and as I was switching through the channels I came across the CBBC production of Jacqueline Wilson’s award winning book, Hetty Feather, the story of Hetty a young girl who lives as a foundling orphan. In this scene, Hetty fell ill with influenza.

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The scene started with Hetty ill in bed. The colours reflected those shown throughout the episode, a greyish/brown. IMG_0731

As she succumbed to her feverish nightmares the blue tint was immediately apparent, blue seems to be a go to colour for dramatic scenes, used in thrillers and horrors, it’s a stark colour representative of cold and empty places, hostile and with threat. Here it shows how she is fighting a battle to survive.

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In her distorted dreams the colour changes, rich, deep umber, browns and yellows, scenes of the countryside and bringing back the memories of her life before the orphanage. IMG_0735

Then she wakes and the fever has passed. The colours are back to the original and it shows she’s going to be ok fuelled by the determination to find her foundling brother, Gideon.

Emotion of a character – Series of Unfortunate Events

A childhood favourite, the three orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are with their Aunt Josephine (who is terrified of everything, perhaps thanotophobia, fear of death) They are on a boat in the middle of Lake Lachrymose when things get very dangerous indeed.

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You can see the fear in their faces, there is a great deal of blackness, the sky is stormy and orange (always a dangerous colour with it’s role in colour psychology) These foreboding colours matched with their faces show the emotion that something very bad is about to happen. Also sunset can be symbolic and represent the end of something (in this case, Aunt Josephine herself)

General mood or atmosphere of the film as a whole – The Durrells 

I absolutely love this programme, it’s filled with humour, intrigue and character. Plus the young Gerald reminds me of myself as a child always wandering off into the wild, bringing back animals, adopting bees and butterflies and spending ages sat watching nature (not much has changed)

The lighting is bright reminiscent of holidays and sunny days. Skin colour is natural and has a slight colour gradient similar to Made in Chelsea. Set in Corfu the series takes full advantage of the weather to create light and airy images carrying the ethos of the show perfectly.

A range of feelings, emotions or atmospheres such as love, fear, power and joy – Teen Wolf

Recently I’ve been enjoying the Teen Wolf series, where a young high school student, Scott is bitten by a werewolf and enters a whole new world of danger. This programme really fits the brief  as the range of colours it goes through would rival the colour spectrum.

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Fear The scene starts in an underground carpark, the colours are dark and grey. The cars are grey, his clothes, and the lighting. It carries a dark and unsettling feeling which only gets worse.13020092_970503756391228_1260039851_n

Love Safe from the immediate threat the colours return to warm, skin colours, it has a relaxing romantic effect to suit this scene.

13046295_970503763057894_1728463956_nSuspense He knows something is watching him and assumes it is his friend but the viewer can tell otherwise as the blue tint is added generating fear and uncertainty. 13059314_970503779724559_1188751103_n

Terror – the scene is white and flashing coupled with his expression and the terrifying event gone before the viewer is left breathing hard just like the character. It has a feeling of a stark place and a hostile one too.

Conclusion.

I don’t think I will be able to watch another movie without seeing the dramatic changing of colours. Sometimes it can be so gentle it’s almost unnoticeable and other times the continuity jumps so much it’s like it’s a separate movie.

With colour psychology no-one needs to know the meanings of all the colours, it’s something that seems to be almost innate. Blue feels cold, red is warm, it can be because it’s associated with a memory in the viewer or because a generic thriller makes use of blue lighting. My sister watches Made in Chelsea and whenever they are outside there is always a deep brown and yellow tint, it generates a vintage mood though sometimes feels a little bit much.

“A great example of a colour filter-effect is within the show ‘Made in Chelsea’. The colour filter used makes the filming look more professional and improves skin tone…”

 

Project – Light and colour

You will be looking at how light can and colour can affect continuity, mood, atmosphere and meaning within a shot.

Source is shown – Harry Potter – The Prisoner of Azkaban 

I started by going through the TV planner which didn’t work as I inevitably ended up watching the latest episode of the Durrels which I will review later. I thought about a moment where light changes and my sister and I were discussing films we’d seen and trying to remember a particular scene. We both shouted Harry Potter at the same time and remembered one of our favourite scenes in which Harry is walking the dark corridors on his own when he hears footsteps in the dark.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 11.29.53“Mischief managed! Knox!” he whispers, the light of his wand illuminating him and the area around in a blue circle (perhaps an echo of the patronus charm he uses later on)

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The scene turns black and the viewer waits holding their breath. This is a  showing how the light changes.

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Harry swirls round in horror as another wand lights up the scene and the formidable form of Professor Snape appears.

Represents abstract or emotional state – 

This was a really tough one to find but I’ve been watching Walter before Mickey, the story of Walt Disney, it’s essentially his auto biography. The scene I’ve chosen is the one in which Walt as a young boy realises his dream to create animation.

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Walter is sat watching a projected animation in an abandoned cinema. 13062591_969822716459332_235360750_o

The camera changes to one of the projector being wound up by Walters brother. 13016762_969822663126004_1985365082_o

He stares in amazement at it. 13054693_969823393125931_824998540_o

As the realisation that he could make these animations the light of the projector flickers across his face, it’s a powerful scene and I love the underlying meaning of how the art runs through his blood and is part of him.

 

An action motivates the change – Dare Devil 

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I searched Netflix for inspiration and came across a Superhero movie, DareDevil, a bit too gritty from me judging from the write up but the first scene was very dramatic as a father races towards a scene of terror and panic.

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There has been a chemical spill and his son is lying on the floor groaning clutching his burning eyes.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 12.14.20The father stares round, terror in his eyes as he tries to piece together what has happened, taking in in all the destruction and chaos around.

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“Your boy!” a man cries being helped to his feet, “He pushed me out of the way. He saved my life”

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The terrified father stares around the panic and sees the chemicals spilled on the floor. “Close your eyes!” he shouts frantically at his son, “Close your eyes.”

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The scene flicks to a subjective viewpoint from the boy and his father staring down at him. The viewer knows that something bad is about to happen and his vision clouds grotesquely darken at the edges until the screen is black, representing his blindness. He’s left screaming, “I can’t see.”

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It’s a harrowing scene and more powerful with the subjective shot. The viewer is also having to work out what’s happening in the scene just like the father. This high angle shot as the camera cranes away is so powerful showing the vulnerability of their situation.