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Light Glossary

speed (light)
    186,000 miles per second.
tenner, 10kw
    A 10,000-watt fresnel spot light.
junior, deuce, 2kw
    A 2,000-watt focusing fresnel spot. junior can also refer to (ah, the utter confusion) a 1,000-watt spot.
senior, 5kw
    A 5,000-watt fresnel spot light.
low-contrast filter
    A camera filter that reduces contrast by adding subtle fog in dark areas.
space blanket
    A camping item, sometimes attached to location walls or ceilings to reflect light. caution: check for flammability.
gray scale (film)
    A chart of gray tones ranging from black to white used to help conscientious lab technicians print the scene accurately. tip: shoot a couple of feet of film with the chart in the foreground, at th...
chip chart (video)
    A chart of gray tones ranging from black to white used to set up electronic cameras.
grip head
    A clamping and positioning mechanism usually mounted on a century stand. it holds flags, nets, diffusers, and butterflies.
close-up, cu (film & video)
    A composition in which a subject`s head more or less fills the frame. in an extreme or very close shot (ecu, vcu) only part of the subject is included, frequently just eyes, nose, and mouth.
fast, high-speed
    A confusingly general term that includes film, lenses that require little light for exposure, and shutter speeds capable of stopping fast action. also, people who have a reputation for lighting qu...
attenuator (optical)
    A continuously graduated color or neutral-density camera filter used to tame snow, enrich sunsets, and perform absorption magic more subtly than can be done with a graduated filter.
cookie, cucoloris, cucaloris
    A device almost as strange as its names. placed in front of a hard light, it throws realistic or abstract shadows, or dappled light, on bland walls or areas of the scene.
generator, jenny
    A device that converts liquid fuel into electricity so you can operate lights and wind and fog machines on-location - all at once if it`s a big one. tip: for sound, you want a "silent" o...
color-temperature meter
    A device used to measure the color of a source and provide recommendations for correction. sometimes you should just say no. see: color temperature.
iso (international standards organization)
    A european rating of film sensitivity to light.
matte box
    A fancy lens shade that disposes of all but the most determined rays of potential flare and holds one or more filters of various sizes. the best ones also allow graduated filters to be rotated and...
daylight film
    A film color-balanced for average daylight and flash illumination - approximately 5,500k.
contrast (viewing) glass
    A filter that darkens the scene to help the new and old pro evaluate contrast and shadow areas.
graduated filter, grad
    A filter with modulated-color or gray areas which can be oriented in front of the camera to control contrast or add color to part of a scene. also see: attenuator.
gobo
  1. A flag; also a disk with a cutout pattern that casts shadows when used in an ellipsoidal spot light.

  2. Something used to block unwanted or stray light from falling onto the subject. o... reflector de sonido .; bandera; светозащитная бленда;; противошумовой экран (микрофона);
net, open net, scrim
    A flaglike device used to reduce light locally; the open net has one side without a frame to avoid a hard shadow.
spot light
    A focusing hard light. traditional types: inky - up to 250 watts; baby - 500-to-1,000 watts; junior, deuce or 2kw - 2,000 watts; senior, 5k - 5,000 watts; tenner or 10kw - 10,000 watts. see: hard ...
eggcrates
    A frame made up of crossed strips used in front of a soft source to reduce spill light.
boom or mike shadow
    A frequent and unwelcome (especially when it moves) part of early television which is still with us on occasion. solutions: a large, soft key or bounce light; a high-angle key that is sharply cut ...
barndoor
    A front-of-the-light device having two or more pivotable black panels used to shape the beam and shade the camera lens or scene.
graduated scrim
    A hard light scrim with a degree of subtlety in modulating the brightness of areas of the subject or scene. a fast fix for subjects burning up as they approach a strong light. see: moving subjects...
specular (subject)
    A highly reflective, mirror-like surface. tip: if your subject is specular and small, stick it in a translucent tent, cut a hole for your lens, and douse it with light. or surround it with white p...
tungsten filament
    A lamp coil that emits light (and heat) when electricity flows through it. see: incandescent lamp and tungsten-halogen lamp.
incandescent lamp or light
    A lamp that produces white light when electric current excites the filament. see: tungsten filament and tungsten halogen lamp.
internal reflector
    A lamp with an integral reflector such as the mr-16 and r-40.
space light
    A large cylinder containing several broad lights that is hung from ceilings to provide soft top light. a black "skirt" can be lowered to limit spill on surrounding walls. used mostly on ...
butterfly, overhead
    A large frame with a fabric diffuser or net to soften or reduce harsh sun or light. a miracle-worker when you have a calm day, a stand (two for an over-head), weights, and the crew to rig it or a ...
stage plug
    A large, heavy-duty electrical connector requiring caution in use.
skypan
    A large, high-wattage studio light used to flood cycs and such.
shower curtain
    A large, translucent plastic sheet used to diffuse lights. see: bank.
normal lens
  1. A lens that, for a specific camera aperture, produces an angle of view approximating that of the human eye, or about 25 degrees. see: angle of view and perspective.

  2. Обычный объектив...
plano-convex lens
    A lens used to focus light rays. it is flat one side, convex (curved outward) on the other. also see: fresnel.
long (focal length) lens, telephoto
    A lens with an angle of view narrower than that of the human eye and a "normal" lens. (normal, long, and wide angle are relative terms and depend on film or aperture size.) 50mm is wide ...
eye light, catch light
    A little eye light goes a long way; use a light hand. tip: a small, diffused, doored-down hard light near the camera gives kicks in the center of the eyes and teeth (unless your subject is tight-l...
makeup, grease paint
    A little makeup may do what a lot of lights can`t; too much, especially on close-ups, is worse than none. tip: examine makeup under your lights.
finger, blade
    A long, narrow flag or cutter used to shadow part of the subject or scene.
kicker, liner, glow light
    A low-angle, side-back light that adds honest glare (the kind that helps elect presidents) to the side of faces. tip: try a white card or small reflector when you run out of lights or crave subtle...
stop pull
    A manual, therefore potentially subtle, change of stop as the camera moves or pans from bright to dark areas; or the reverse. see: automatic exposure.
gray card
    A matte 18% reflectance card used instead of a subject for a reflected light meter reading. tips: exposure corrections for unusually light or dark subjects are the same as for an ilm - not an rlm....
brightness, luminance
    A measure of a surface`s or subject`s reflectivity in a given direction.
volts (v)
    A measure of electrical "pressure." formula: volts = watts ÷ amps. tip: to save bucks and save face, check lamp-voltages before plugging in; and check overseas voltages before g...
watt (w)
    A measurement of power or the rate at which electrons move along a wire. tip: different types and makes of fixtures using the same wattage lamps when tested at the same distance will have consider...
incident light meter (ilm)
    A meter designed to read incident light. compensation is needed for unusually dark or light subjects, back light, silhouettes, and special exposure effects. the tool for measuring lighting ratio. ...
lens shade, sun shade
    A minimal flare-control device. for more effective ways to prevent light rays from reaching the lens and filter, see: matte box and french flag.
video tap, video assist
    A motion picture camera "tapped" to provide an electronic image for viewing and sometimes recording. it allows instant playback of scenes in order to judge performances and cinematograph...
timed print
    A motion picture workprint that has received timing to compensate for exposure and color variations.
color rendering index (cri)
    A numeric evaluation of the accuracy (in relation to "daylight" at 100) of various types of light sources. example: hmi is about 90.
ei/asa, exposure index
    A numerical designation of a film`s sensitivity to light. the current us standard for film speed. see: iso; and din.
profile (portraits)
    A one-eye-only sideview of a person.
lighting with paint
    A pail of oil paint on a drab location and an ounce of grease paint on a pale face (see: makeup) may work better and faster than painting with light. also, what some artists do on canvas.
light plan, light plot
    A plan view of the set or location showing some or all of the following: the position, height, type, and size of the lights, their intensities, accessories, gels, beam shapes, etc.
ultraviolet (uv)
  1. A portion of the spectrum to which film and bees` eyes are sensitive, but not human eyes.

  2. Electromagnetic waves invisible to the human eye, with wavelengths about 10 to 400nm, short... ultravioleta (uv) .;
dispersion, light dispersion
    A process whereby white light is separated into a spectrum of rainbowlike component wavelengths by, for example, a prism or raindrops.
practical light
    A prop light seen in the shot which can be operated by the talent; sometimes doctored to control brightness, color, or coverage.
coffin light
    A rectangular soft light, often with an adjustable black skirt used to control spill. like the chicken coop and space light, it is hung over the set.
apple box
    A rectangular wooden box used to support people, props, or equipment at any of three different heights. thinner half-apples offer other options, alone and in stacked combinations.
parabolic reflector
  1. A reflector shape used with some focusing fixtures to provide efficient output, especially in spot setting.

  2. A light reflector whose surface is a paraboloid, i.e., a surface generate...
hard light
  1. A relatively small, direct, usually focusable source, with or without lens, that produces strong high-lights and dark shadows. the quality is more dramatic and controllable, but generally less...
cyc strip, strip light
    A row of connected broads used to light a cyclorama or wall.
contrasty
    A scene or image with high contrast.
высококонтрастный об изображении;
fay lamp, fay light
    A sealed-beam daylight par lamp or the fixture that uses several such lamps connected mechanically and electrically.
formula lighting
    A sensitive eye and a little imagination are worth far more than a lot of lighting formulas, since every formula fails to acknowledge that every scene is different.
edge light
    A separation light somewhere between a kicker, and a rim light.
zoomitis
    A serious nervous disorder. cause: uncontrollable lunging. symptoms: extreme dizziness and disorientation. cure: zoomenders.
close-up (stills)
    A shot requiring a supplementary lens, bellows, extension tubes, or macro lens to bring the subject into focus.
chicken coop
    A six-lamp fixture, with or without diffusion, hung over a set for broad, down illumination.
butterfly lighting
    A slightly high-angle, slightly diffused source, cen-tered on a (frequently female) subject`s face to minimize nose shadow, skin texture, and double chins and emphasize cheekbones and beauty. see ...
french flag
    A small black panel on an adjustable arm used on a camera to block flare from lights.
inky, inky-dink
    A small fresnel spot light.
insert stage
    A small studio, generally without soundproofing, designed to light and shoot close-ups or product shots.
enveloping light, super-soft
    A source such as overcast sky; a soft light or bounce light that is sufficiently large or close enough to the subject to partially surround or wrap it.