Allison Parrish Photo

Looking Through a New Lens

Photography in Movies

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In movies there is a person called the “director of photography” or “cinematographer.” This person basically decides the lighting the film. This aspect of photography and film has always interested me because I always love looking at the lighting for films. Films can have many different types of lighting and it all depends on what the director of the movie wants to convey to the audience. For instance, the cinematographer in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (the first film in the series) wanted the wizarding world to be bright and exciting so he opted for a brighter lighting in the film. You can see that everything in the film is golden and even the sky is always blue. This is contrasted greatly in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the last 2 films in the series) which featured lots of blues, blacks, and grays, to show the forboding danger and grittiness that the world has come to.

The progression of the cinematography in the Harry Potter films really hits home because as the films get increasingly darker, so does the lighting in the films. It just wouldn’t feel right if we were watching as Harry died and the lighting was golden and happy instead of dark and upsetting. Being a movie guru and a photography one, this is one of the things that I look at during the…probably 5 viewing of the film. And since I’ve seen Harry Potter so many times, it’s much easier to look for things like the lighting. 

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