How do you hold a flashlight? - Hyundai Ioniq Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-18, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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How do you hold a flashlight?

Here's a mystery that's been "haunting" me for a long time:

When I use a flashlight, I usually hold it at waist or hip level with my thumb pointing the same way as the light beam. Everyone I've seen in real life usually holds it that way.

But in movies and tv-shows, the rule seems to be the opposite - they hold it at shoulder or face level with the thumb pointing away from the light beam. It must be tiring to hold your forearm up like that for more than a few minutes, and in addition, it's more difficult to sweep the lightbeam around.

You might ask why they always behave that crazy in movies?

The attached example is from a tv-series called Hard Sun.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-18, 08:17 AM
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I’ve been wondering about it, too Maybe it looks better on the screen? It’s like those strange sounds that computers make in the movies, or display search results like someone was quickly typing them one letter at a time. Hollywood BS in short.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-18, 08:41 AM
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It is tactical position combined with tactical flashing you have total control. Normally the agent has a gun in one hand and the flashlight in the other. This flashlight has operating switch at the tail of the light to be controlled by the thumb. In the picture they don’t have flashlights, but because of this tail switch and the habit of doing so made them hold it that way.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-18, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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That may be very well for soldiers, agents or police officers.

But I've found this practice to be almost universal in film and television. Even children have been portrayed holding flashlights that way.

Sure, some flashlights do have the switch at the rear end, but far from all. In the attached picture are two random flashlights that I found lying around my office. Both have switches that are more convenient when you hold the flashlight the "normal" civilian way.

I have another theory: In order to show an actor with a flashlight by the waist or hip, you would have to show him or her in a full shot or a 3/4 shot. If you switch to a medium or close-up shot, the flashlight may fall outside of the frame. So to make it more obvious in all shots, the actor will hold the flashlight at shoulder level so that it can be seen without concern for field size.
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Last edited by andersmo; 03-09-18 at 09:56 AM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-18, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmo View Post

I have another theory: In order to show an actor with a flashlight by the waist or hip, you would have to show him or her in a full shot or a 3/4 shot. If you switch to a medium or close-up shot, the flashlight may fall outside of the frame. So to make it more obvious in all shots, the actor will hold the flashlight at shoulder level so that it can be seen without concern for field size.
That make sense, I would do the same if I will have to photograph someone with a flashlight.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-18, 12:12 PM
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If you are following 'fire tacks' to make your way in darkness it is far more efficient to hold the flashlight at eye level and scan, regardless of which way your thumb is pointing.

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