Advanced workshop – 5 days

Additional techniques such as working with graphic images, three-dimensional shadow images and partial illumination will expand our options. This will give you deep insights into the nature of light as a design tool. Additionally, you will gain experience with questions of narrative form and dramatic composition.

The workshop is held annually in the fascinating world heritage city of Bamberg, Germany, during the second week of August. A basic course on shadow theatre or other experience with the use of light is recommended but not obligatory.

“Shaping with light”

Part I: Light as a tool | 3 days

The variety of light

  • Contemporary illuminants and their various uses
  • The handling and manipulation of light
    technical aspects, manageability, various accessories
  • Principal and auxiliary tools
    halogen lights, LEDs, OHP’s, torches and other illuminants
  • Combinations of light
    how to diversify the images

Extraordinary light

  • Coloured shadows – the RGB system
    installation and experiments
  • 3 – dimensional shadows
    requirements, technical installation and play
  • Laser – a subject of its own
    Basics, handling, security features,
    colours and their combination,
    reflexion, refraction, diffusion and shadows

Light and composition

  • Light and its positioning
    Basic rules, perspectives, using light like a camera
  • Figures and objects
    two/three-dimensional objects, self-luminous figures,
    illuminated interior spaces, naturalism and abstraction,
    composition, working with templates/formats
  • Structure / colour / background
    structure as a medium of colour design, basic colour temperature,
    adding shades of colour, structured light, abstract spaces
  • Functional light
    how to accentuate scenes
  • Light and its effects / atmosphere
    the psychological effects of light

Light and body

  • Light and person
    classic human shadows, coloured, symmetrically
  • Licht and body
    physical shadow theatre, landscapes of the body,
    combinations with figures
  • Light and hands
    rhythmical works, sizes, hand shadows abstract and naturalistic
  • Abstract figures
    doubling, graphical works

Narrativ possibilities with light

  • The stage in modern shadow theatre
    basic construction, parameters, equipment/installation, objects/figures
  • Archaic storytelling
    the basic idea, the story line with images, sound and movement of light,
    voice, narrative style, narrative perspective, timing, style of play
  • Narrative attitudes of light
    static light, unfettered light, controlled movement of light, pan shot,
    360° pan shot, parallel movement, zooming in and out
  • Abstract storytelling
    combinations, various acts

Painting with light

  • Where it comes from
    Camera obscura, long time exposure, software lpl
  • Installation and stage setting
    Laptop, webcam, beamer, screens, connections and adjustment,
    different modulations and lightsources
  • Painting with light
    Tools and techniques

Part II: From first idea to production | 2 days

Let’s get down to the details

  • Stage
    What is it like, what is it made of? Where is the screen, what is it like, what is it made of? What about the logistics?
  • Light
    How is it moved? Where is it placed? How can it be deployed efficiently and effectively?
  • Pictures
    Which ones to choose? Which kind of material? Which kind of presentation? Naturalistic or abstract? What about the temporal sequence?
  • Figures
    Which kind of material? How do the figures move? How are they held?
    What can they do, what do they have to be able to do?
  • Language
    How is the story told? Are there any dialogues? Should the figures be recognised by their voices? Any use of onomatopoeia? Any use of microphones?
  • Music
    Suitable techniques: MP3 player? Voice recorder? PC feed? Live music?
  • Player
    Who is the player? Does he/she know more than the figures? What is the inner attitude of the player?

Everything falls into place

  • How to create the scenes
    Interaction between light and figures, how to combine the elements of light, movement, music and language,
    creating a preliminary script.
  • Dramatic composition
    Are the transitions working? How is the rhythm? Is there a storyboard? How to work with video takes?
  • Small „Islands“
    Are there any special features? On what kind of levels?
    How to incorporate small miracles or dangerous risks?


George Hanover, Ireland:

This course met with and exceeded my expectations. I was enthused not only by what I was learning but also Norbert’s own passion, which is highly infectious. At times I felt like a child playing freely with reflection – my new found friend – at other times overwhelmed by the vast possibilities of this art form. Anything you want to know regarding light and shadow will be answered in this course. I highly recommend that you allow yourself an amount of playtime when returning from this course, your imagination will be running wild and your head bursting full of ideas.