Lighting has a huge impact on the end product whether it be an indie film, a photo, or a blockbuster movie. Figuring out how to correct the lighting can be hard especially if you don’t have the right tools. With the current trends in lighting and color always changing, cinematographers will need the proper tools to keep up. Fortunately, spectrometers and color and exposure meters exist to help with figuring out how to handle and manipulate lighting and color in a scene.

Current trends

The Cinematography School at the New York Film Academy regularly chats with filmmakers and gathered up information for a report on the current trends in cinema. Trends include more aerial footage, subdued lighting, subdued color, an increase in handheld shots, and a boom in shallow depth of field. When looking at spectrometers and color/exposure meters, the lighting and color trends will have an impact. According to the report, “particularly over the past year, it seems to be a strong contemporary trend for cinematographers to pare down lighting rigs and keep things simple and soft, with as few lighting sources as possible (and often a heavy reliance on using solely natural and ‘golden hour’ lighting).” This trend may be due to the need to soften harsh edges, which are more prominently displayed with ultra HD. In conjunction with more subdued lighting is a trend for more subdued color as well. In film as well as advertising, there is an increased use of subdued color with regards to desaturation and muted color design.