Some Light Terms by SONWELL
Published:2016-07-30 08:38:41    Text Size:【BIG】【MEDIUM】【SMALL

Fits in a light and glows white-hot when turned on. Cautions: If anyone calls it a Bulb his or her Cinematic License will be revoked, but not his theatrical one. If anyone touches it (bare-fingered) when cold, the lamp will be damaged. If anyone touches it when hot, their fingers will be damaged.

The number of hours at which half of the test lamps fail. Tip: Shock, vibration, frequent on-off cycles, overvolting, power surges, obstructed ventilation, defective lamps, and other longevity-threats are not factored in. 

Spectrum (Visible & Electromagnetic)
The full range of electromagnetic wavelengths extends from the shortest gamma rays of 1 millionth mm to radio waves of 6 miles. Buried in the middle is the visible spectrum, the tiny portion to which the human eye is sensitive. The spectrum can be "seen" when White Light is intercepted by a prism or rain-drops. Tip: It does not fully match what film "sees" and therein lie occasional surprises. See: Ultraviolet and Infrared.

Open-face Light
A vague term that seems to refer to a Hard Light (perhaps others) without a focusing lens, although (Safety Tip) not necessarily without a protective glass or screen in the front.

A unit of measure of Incident Light. The video and European version of Foot Candles. Conversion Formula: fc x 10.8 = Lux.

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-lipped). Placed off to the side, the whites of the eyes glow lovingly, tragically, or threateningly, depending upon the music.

Floodlight, Flood
A wide, semi-soft source often used for general illumination or to bounce light. Also see: Broad.

Broad, Broad Light
Typically, a semi-hard, non-focusing light with a wide Beam Angle. Unlike a true Soft Light, direct illumination from the Lamp is not blocked and the Aperture is usually smaller.

Intensity, Light Level, Light Output
The "strength" of the Incident Light independent of subject reflectivity, commonly measured in Foot Candles or Lux. High levels allow for increased Depth of Field (not always desirable) or faster shutter speeds (stills or high-speed filming). Optimum levels are what one strives for. Realistic levels are what one settles for.

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