Reading the Light Right: The Exposure of Asian Skin Tones in Cinematography

Journal article

Sung, Y (2020). Reading the Light Right: The Exposure of Asian Skin Tones in Cinematography. Frames Cinema Journal. 17.
AuthorsSung, Y

This article discusses how contemporary cinematographers make technical and aesthetic decisions about exposure when working with actors of different skin colours – specifically those of Asian ethnicities. Having worked internationally as a cinematographer and lighting co-ordinator, with casts belonging to different ethnicity groups, I am able to offer practical insight into the interaction between colour, the quality of light, and Asian skin in digital film production. As I will explore below, it is encouraging to see that cinematographers have begun exploring ways to better illuminate Black actors, and arguably, the same level of care and creativity can be applied when filming Asian talent. The article will examine firstly, how exposure tools for the camera are used, and secondly, the different approaches of industry practitioners seeking to develop more careful and varied ways of lighting Asian skin.

JournalFrames Cinema Journal
Journal citation17
PublisherUniversity of St. Andrews Library
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
Online27 Jun 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted27 May 2020
Deposited04 Sep 2020
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POV_YLS Frames Final.docx
License: CC BY 4.0
File access level: Open

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