Here’s How HBO’s Insecure Properly Lights Black Actors

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On screen, actors with darker skin have notoriously struggled with being properly seen in dimly lit scenes. Here’s what this HBO show does differently

This article was originally published in September 2017.

It’s no secret: Hollywood has historically lacked understanding about how to properly light Black actors’ faces. In 2014, Syreeta McFadden wrote an essay for Buzzfeed about photography’s inherited bias against dark skin and her own struggles: “The printed results failed to accurately represent my subjects, their shades obscured, their smiles blown out,” McFadden wrote. “I understood that some of this had to do with harmonizing the basic components of great image-making from the gear: film speed, aperture, and the ghost we all chase, light.”

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