How to Light Black and White

How to Light Black and White

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In today’s episode of Four Minute Film School, music video cinematographer Justin Jones walks us through his process for lighting cinematic black and white shots.

Black and white cinematography can be a stylistic choice to evoke certain emotions and is a staple look for genres like film noir, classic Hollywood, horror and others. Lighting for black and white has a unique set of challenges – since color is less of a concern, more attention has to be paid to things like light quality, intensity and texture. In this filmmaking tutorial, we will walk through motivations, tips, and techniques for all of these aspects.

We teamed up with Hurlbut Visuals to produce this episode of 4 Minute Film School! Check out their educational content at

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1st AC: Tereza Vachova
Gaffer: Thomas Sigurdsson
HV Creative Director: Ben Richardson
Aputure Production Intern: Brendon Le
Editor: Minh Bui

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Filmmaker Nerris Nassiri and Director of Photography Justin Jones walk through two cinematic lighting setups and explain the creative and technical facets of lighting for black and white. Aputure’s YouTube channel provides free high quality cinematography, lighting, and filmmaking educational content to help you take your film projects to the next level.

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