LED and the lack of soul
Sanya 15th August 2013
In the end the whole typhoon hype luckily fizzed out as I reached Sanya without a single bump during my flight, though with a considerable time delay. It was only 2am when I finally found my bed. You always meet interesting people when you travel and as it happened I was sitting next to a British TV camera crew on their way to Sanya to film the world’s strongest man competition to be held here over the next week or so. Once we discovered each-others profession the discussion quickly centred on lighting and the impact that lighting has to both of us. It reminded me of my flight with Salman Kahn, the famous Indian actor who also could totally identify with the importance of good lighting. Same here. It was an enjoyable discussion about the pit-falls of our industry and (surprise!) the impact that LED lighting has on lighting design today. We both lamented the good old times of tungsten lighting and one can imagine how much impact the change to LED is also impacting the TV world. No TV set works without LED anymore and he felt that as a result life, soul and feeling were more and more missing from set lighting design with too much reliance on the LED technology and not enough human feel…interesting statement which as older generation lighting designer I can understand and actually subscribe to.
Besides sporting events the TV crew was also involved in documenting concerts for TV and here as well they lamented about the endless and senseless use of LED screens. Nowadays no pop concert is done without LED multi- media screens and againthe main comment was about the lack of soul. Installing a wall of LED screens and then letting a computer configure an endless array of colours and rapidly changing images takes the soul out of lighting. The human touch is gone, computers have taken over the design…where are the good old times where the solo guitarist would be bathed in a follow spot with the rest of the set in the near darkness…that was and still is soul.
Light Watch 4-133: Just one picture today…Eric Clapton in concert…emotions…simplicity…lighting that focusses on the artist not the LED back ground!