August 23, 2013

EDM Gets Cirque du Soleil-ed In Las Vegas

Lighting itself is somewhere between an art and a science.  If you take a basic photography class or tv/film class, you learn basic ideas like three point lighting.  In easy terms, you want the light to be focused on your subject – but not enough that it overexposes them to the light.  At the same time you need a bit of light for your camera, but not directly into your eyes as to glare the picture.  This is where the creativity comes in.  When you are lighting  a DJ setup or doing lights for a performance, the lights are hardly static – they are constantly moving in order to create or distract attention into and from a certain direction.

For an EDM show, lights are necessary and are expected to be part of the audience’s experience.  There are many forms of lighting, including LEDs, lasers, sodium halide, and there are also arrays of lighting that can be controlled via computer.  But even with computers involved, it does not eliminate the need for creativity and thought.  The same lighting teams that organize shows for big performances in Las Vegas are also there to help some of the most popular EDM artist turn a small show into an ordeal.