Stanley Kubrick - Candlelight Filming an Inspiration for Photographers

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In 1975 Stanley Kubrick directed the three-hour movie Barry Lyndon with its famous candlelight scenes, filmed only with ambient light and in this case, candlelight. For this amazing movie he used the NASA Zeiss f/0.70 lenses with some of the fastest apertures ever made.

In the Stanley Kubrick documentary
A Life in Pictures a section is dedicated to the making of Barry Lyndon and these amazing lenses, originally coming from photography and not cinematography. Kubrick with his still photography background just put them on a film camera and made this incredible movie. See here a fragment of the documentary on the Barry Lyndon movie.

Ok, we usually do not have access to these high-end lenses, but when did you for the last time experiment with lenses and ambient light? One big takeaway from Kubrick’s movie is also that less is more and genuineness is unbeatable. No studio light setting would have given the movie that genuine feeling of a candlelight evening than a real candlelight evening.

Is there any better light than
ambient light?

Ute Sonnenberg for