Following our test shoot, I felt quite unhappy with my disorganised and unconfident working method and the underexposed images I had produced. I contacted Andrew O’Connor regarding my concerns and we had a very productive conversation about ways I can improve my technical knowledge and confidence. He suggested a range of online resources, especially the cinematography breakdowns on the Wandering DP youtube channel as a way of building my understanding of industry lighting techniques and conventions. He also stressed the importance of continuing my own exercises, practising lighting from a range of angles to improve my understanding of how this affects atmosphere and tone. He explained that my key areas of focus for visual consistency should be colour, contrast and focal length.
Focusing on areas and techniques specific to Wee Wild Flowers, Andrew advised that we should continue testing our lighting, exposure and framing until we are completely happy with our look. He suggested that we take a different approach to the night scenes, placing the moon as hard backlight with a large, soft key source (the motivation of which would be less important) to illuminate the actors’ faces. He also suggested placing skin tones around middle grey for horror, with the background roughly a stop below this to create separation. We discussed potentially exposing higher to bring the footage down in post, preserving more detail in the shadows.
I hope to bring these strategies into our future tests, allowing us to achieve a final image we are happy with. I shared much of this technical advice with Emma, hopefully allowing us to have clearer discussions about our visual styles for the project.