Decolonising Cinematography Education: Experimenting with Lighting Ratios and Textures for Black and Asian Skin Tones

Journal article


Sung, Y. (2022). Decolonising Cinematography Education: Experimenting with Lighting Ratios and Textures for Black and Asian Skin Tones . Film Education Journal. 5 (2), pp. 114-135. https://doi.org/10.14324/FEJ.05.2.05
AuthorsSung, Y.
Abstract

Cinematographers are trained to control and measure the relative difference in brightness between two parts of a scene, or a face, for expressive purposes. Painting is often referred to for inspiration as practitioners learn to compose and represent light and shadow in an aesthetically considered manner. In this respect, it is noteworthy that the painters generally studied by film-making students are mostly from Renaissance traditions and produced work featuring predominantly White models. This gap of racial representation in cinematographic pedagogy is stark and has long been overlooked. This article mounts an enquiry into the lack of diversity in cinematography education, examining how different aesthetic traditions, such as Asian ink paintings, could pave new ways for decolonising the conventional conceptions of lighting ratios. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative case studies undertaken in university workshops, I discuss how students respond to Black and Asian artwork as visual references when they are tasked with lighting models with non-White skin tones to accommodate the different reflectance of their skins. By comparing the learning outcomes and current industry techniques for optimising screen representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, the article evaluates how students respond to learning from modern artwork that promotes diverse identities, and argues for the benefits of integrating greater inclusiveness into cinematography.

Keywordscinematography education, diversity, lighting ratios, lighting textures
Year2022
JournalFilm Education Journal
Journal citation5 (2), pp. 114-135
PublisherUCL Press
ISSN2515-7086
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.14324/FEJ.05.2.05
Web address (URL)https://uclpress.scienceopen.com/hosted-document?doi=10.14324/FEJ.05.2.05
Publication dates
Print17 Nov 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted09 May 2022
Deposited25 Nov 2022
Publisher's version
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File Access Level
Open
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Related outputs

Reading the Light Right: The Exposure of Asian Skin Tones in Cinematography
Sung, Y (2020). Reading the Light Right: The Exposure of Asian Skin Tones in Cinematography. Frames Cinema Journal. 17. https://doi.org/10.15664/fcj.v0i17.2075