One of the most important thing about filmmaking is light. And the absence of light.
Light reveals. Shadows conceal.
Good filmmaking uses both to aid in the telling of the story. It will use light and shadow for thematic moments. It will use both to reveal character and important elements of the plot.
We don't want all light. But we can't use all shadow either.
The conventional way to light a subject or a scene is three-point lighting. You have your key light (main light), a fill light to fill in those shadows, and a back light (or rim light) to create separation or depth in the shot. But to tell the story of the scene, this might not be the best lighting set-up.
Lighting (or lack of lighting) can create an instant mood-shift. Those shadows can be a story's best friend.
The key is to strike that perfect balance and get that perfect shot.
[Photo by Javier Morales]