Concepts – Color

February 9, 2009 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

roscoluxOh, glorious color! Color is what makes lighting exponentially more interesting. Since it’s such a big part of our tool set, you’d think there was a ton to say on it, but, relatively speaking, there isn’t much.

There’s the psychology of color. The basics boil down to this: Cool colors tend make people feel calm and comfortable. Warm colors tend to make people feel energetic and passionate. It’s like the cycle of a day. At noon, it’s typically bright, warm, and you’re filled with energy. At midnight, it’s dark, cool, quiet, and still. You can easily associate the bright yellows and ambers with noon and the deep blues and purples with midnight and see the natural correlation.

So, it’s important we utilize this in our design, but not let it control the design.  For example, our goal is create a comfortable environment for people when they walk in the door. Simply by having low intensity blues and greens as pre-service stage lighting, we can help reinforce the calm and comfortable feelings they’re hopefully settling into. But, if the first song is The Newsboys’ “He Reigns,” and upbeat tune, where the lyrics speak of “the songs of the redeemed rising from the African plain” and “Asian believers filled with God’s holy fire,” we likely won’t stay in those dimly lit cool colors for long, especially when the chorus comes in with passionate “Hallelujah’s!”

But color is more than a mood setter, it can help provide depth and definition. On a subject, a richly colored backlight or sidelight will help provide depth when they are illuminated properly from the front. This is especially true when they are filmed. IMAG will take our 3D world and make it 2D on the screens. Colored back/side lighting helps give depth to the image by helping define the different curves and angles of our subject. It can also be a huge help defining the outline of a subject against whatever is in the background behind them. As Chris says, “it just makes them pop!”

kryptoncolorwheel1Our use of color up until now has been mostly as background to a mostly illuminated stage. During worship in the new building, I hope to invert that. I believe our new lights should give us better control to only highlight that which we want to highlight. During most of worship, this is typically the vocalists and Curtis as they lead worship not only with their voices, but their expressions and body language. Meanwhile, the rest of the stage will become our canvas on which to paint, including the rest of the band. Actually, with the moving lights… almost the entire sanctuary becomes out canvas…

–Oz

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Entry filed under: Lighting.

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