“Every shade and hue offers its own unique challenges and glorious opportunities for the Cinematographer to create art. Anyone with a basic knowledge of lighting can get a decent exposure when filming non-white skin. I want to discuss “the art”.
Your narrative will dictate how a character should appear: Ashen. Vibrant. Healthy. Exhausted. Apathetic. Enlightened. I can (and so can you) make any skin tone exude one of those adjectives. This is my process:
Cinematographer Cybel Martin
Once the director and I come to a consensus on how a film should look, I determine which HD camera / film stocks and lenses can achieve it and still stay in budget. My lighting scheme is based on the dynamic range and/or latitude of the HD/film stock, my “man power” (size and technical ability of my G/E crew), post production budget for Color Correct, pace of our shooting schedule and demands of the location (no windows, can’t rig from the ceiling etc)…
Here are a few of the things I consider when working with different skin colors…”