Moving Shots

Maybe you can explain better what you are trying to achieve. What is "dynamic lighting"? Usually that term describes light that is being changed during the shot, like by panning it around, turning it off and one, etc.


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For instance, in the War of the Worlds, there are a lot of beautifully lit shots. In addition, many of these have lots of movement, but are still lit just as nicely. How do they move from very different lighting schemes without changing the aperature? Or do they?
Well, you just described one of the hardest thing for a cinematographer to do, light a moving shot but make it look nice. You spend a lifetime trying to figure out how to do that.

Getting the levels right is the easiest part -- if the scene is entirely lit artificially, you just adjust the level of each light until you like the balance. It's generally only when you need to deal with moving into an area where you can't control the level where you may need to do a lens aperture change, like when dealing with some natural light in the sequence. The other time is when you want to change the light in mid-move because you don't like the way it looks when you move to another angle or view -- sometimes the lights are on a dimmer board to adjust them during a move.

The hardest part though is to figure out where the light can go and not be seen by the moving camera, unless you can dress the scene with practical sources that can be seen. Sometimes they even move the light over during the move to keep it hidden, or even handhold a light.


I tend to block actors and the camera to move all over sets, many times rotating the camera anywhere between 180 and 270 degrees with dolly moves. Hard enough to keep the track out of shot, but lights are another challenge. One thing I've always found helpful though is using C-stands to put the lights above where the camera sees, as close to the ceiling as I can get them (easiest to do with smaller lights). Harder to do with low angle shots naturally, but hope that helps.

One technique I've also played around with recently, although not always a good solution, is simply bouncing lights off of tables, but then I'm a fan of seeing a table brightly lit with the actors lit only by the bounce off it. (inspired by a scene in Schindler's List)