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High-key lighting in The Yearling

by Oliver Gaycken

Low-key lighting's emphasis on strong contrast between areas of light and dark might suggest that scenes set at night would necessarily be low key. As this scene from The Yearling demonstrates, however, nighttime scenes can also be lit in a manner that is consistent with high-key illumination. While there are shadows, the differences between light and dark are not extreme, and the overall effect is of a balanced lighting scheme. Incidentally, the dissolve that serves as the transition from day to night nicely recalls a lighting effect pioneered by the diorama.

High-key lighting in The Yearling

High-key lighting in a scene set at night

from The Yearling (1946)
Creator: Clarence Brown
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Posted by Oliver Gaycken
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