My Weekly Spock– Some Sublime Spock Lighting

I got to looking at some stills from Season 1 of Trek and I gotta tell you, I think the lighting in season 1 was some of the most beautiful in the history of television.  The lighting had film noir  quality with lots of shadows and ‘baby’ spotlights on the eyes.   By Season 3, the budget was tighter than ever and the lighting just wasn’t as ethereal and painterly as it was in the first two seasons.

Anyway, here’s some sublimely lit Spock for you…


By the way, have you ever wondered why the background color on this site is lavender purple? Now you know! All the walls of the Enterprise sets were painted gray, but the lighting gave them their beautiful pastel shades. Kudos to Director of Photography Jerry Finnerman for his light artistry.

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7 thoughts on “My Weekly Spock– Some Sublime Spock Lighting

  1. That lighting was one of the attributes of the production design most successful and it was, well, logical. If people were to live in artificially generated environments for large periods-of-time, that this environment would have to be “soft” for an existence in the presence of strong, artificial, white light would be unbearable.
    The production design of Star Trek also influenced the series, “Land of the Giants.” Similar colors, aesthetics, and environmental sensibilities.
    The sets of Star Trek, especially during the first season, had a set-like quality to them. One felt as if one was in a massive ship in outer space one which was both a technical achievement and also a romantic pursuit.

  2. Excellent points, art. Yes, The Enterprise had a very warm, homey feel about it even though it was on a military/exploration mission. As a kid I wanted to be on the Enterprise!
    Unfortunately, the total opposite of the soft, comfortable light is presented in the reboot. Sure, I like my Enterprise shiny, but in reality, the constant light flares would all a LOT more stress to an already stressful job! The original Enterprise was colorful and soft, the reboot is very white and clinical. I miss the comfort of the old lighting.

  3. ST-TOS definitely had the “feel” of a theatrical production; from the stage sets, to the elaborate costumes, to the brilliant lighting, and to me that was its appeal. Of all the series, it will always rank up there as my absolute favorite.

    (Closely followed by Star Trek Enterprise…but I reckon I might be alone on that one!)

  4. It’s amazing how well Mr. Finnerman did this, considering how little experience he’d had at the time. He really was an artist. I’m glad Herb Solow talked him out of quitting before he’d even begun, though it’s a shame the poor man was so nervous that he spent most of “The Corbomite Maneuver” vomiting in the men’s room.

      • I had to read STAR TREK ENTERPRISE: THE GOOD THAT MEN DO, where you find out Trip was only pretending to be dead, to make myself feel better! (Yes: I’m a real ENTERPRISE tragic!)

      • I read this in “These Are the Voyages” by Marc Cushman. This book just came out less than a year ago, and it’s a very detailed account of what went on during the first season. The story on Mr. Finnerman is pretty interesting. I can try to summarize it if you want, or you might just want to get the book. 😉

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