lighting excess


Are we using to many lights to achieve very little. In these days of excess are we using to much gear and achieving nothing more than techie porn. Many years ago you usually did not have enough gear or budget but a good lighting designer made the lighting rig perform miracles. Then the budgets got bigger, and we got these huge lighting rigs but did they do anymore than what the simpler rigs did, or was that everything just got a lot brighter. The shadows disappeared. Everything was lit. And the light started to spill into the audience and the audience became part of the performance. Did lighting designers become lazy by just adding more gear and not using what they had very well.  And should the audience really be part of the show. The audience have come to see the show not to see other members of the audience. for a concert maybe the odd sweep into the audience is ok but to blind them and basically hide the performers in a mass of lights from the audience is not clever. A good show is were the performers stand out not the lighting. This applies to both stage productions and concerts. To me the art of good lighting is the use of shadows and colour without going over the top. so in these days of mega-wattage events the shadows have gone. Maybe in these days of global economic gloom we might get the shadows back. Lighting rigs might be parred down to the essential, designers will have to use a limited range of gear more effectively and creatively.


2 thoughts on “lighting excess

  1. Shadows do provide some enhancments to the visual excitment of a performance. My theatre rig has 9 650w Fresnels on the FOH bar giving me a 3 colour wash and 6 of the same on LX 1 & 2 with the only other stage compliment coming from 4 1k floods. Luckily I now have 4 1k Pacifics which help immensely but this limited rig allows me to do most things. Applying the KISS principle is mandatory but I still get the desired result. A bunch of movers would be great but not financially viable… 😦

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