Lighting for Cinematography A Practical Guide to the Art and Craft of Lighting for the Moving Image

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/10/2014
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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We can't shoot good pictures without good lighting, no matter how good the newest cameras are. Shooting under available light gives exposure, but lacks depth, contrast, contour, atmosphere and often separation. The story could be the greatest in the world, but if the lighting is poor viewers will assume it's amateurish and not take it seriously. Feature films and TV shows, commercials and industrial videos, reality TV and documentaries, even event and wedding videos tell stories. Good lighting can make them look real, while real lighting often makes them look fake.

Lighting for Cinematography, the first volume in the new CineTech Guides to the Film Crafts series, is the indispensable guide for film and video lighting. Written by veteran gaffer and cinematographer David Landau, the book helps the reader create lighting that supports the emotional moment of the scene, contributes to the atmosphere of the story and augments an artistic style. Structured to mimic a 14 week semester, the chapters cover such things as lighting for movement, working with windows, night lighting, lighting the three plains of action and non-fiction lighting. Every chapter includes stills, lighting diagrams and key advice from professionals in the field, as well as lighting exercises to help the reader put into practice what was covered.

Author Biography

David Landau, a member of IATSE Local 52 as a gaffer as well as a theatrical lighting designer, teaches lighting and cinematography at Fairleigh Dickinson University, US, where he also created the Cinematography track of study. Landau continues to work in the lighting industry, designing lights for theater, shooting corporate videos and low budget features, and working as one of the gaffers on the Project Runway TV series. A five time Tell Award winner for lighting and cinematography, Landau has worked professionally in lighting since 1978, having worked as a master electrician, camera assistant, camera operator, electric, best boy, gaffer, lighting director and Director of Photography. He has worked on feature films, TV shows, sit-coms, game shows, commercials, documentaries, industrial films, corporate videos, music videos and direct-to-consumer DVDs.David Landau is also a published author, with two articles on lighting published in Lighting Dimensions Magazine, eleven articles on screenwriting published in Script magazine and Screenwriter's Monthly, seven plays published by Samuel French and one mystery short story published in Leisure Magazine.

Table of Contents

Introduction: No matter how good a camera, good lighting is what sells the picture
Chapter 1: The Magic of Light - What lighting does and what light does - the physics, properties, measurements and subliminal effects of light.
Chapter 2: Making Light - lighting units and how they work, why so many and basic electricity
Chapter 3: Approaching a lighting set-up - motivated light source, desired feeling and three point lighting
Chapter 4: Lighting Exterior Daylight- reflectors, bounce cards, butterflies, sun direction, HMIs
Chapter 5: Lighting for Movement - hallways, stairways, dolly shots
Chapter 6: Cross Key & Chicken Coop - fast common lighting methods
Chapter 7: High Key, Low Key, Hard and Soft - lighting looks, ratios and textures
Chapter 8: Selecting Exposure & Depth of Field - T-stops, metering, exposure range
Chapter 9: Lighting Night Exteriors - white reference, moonlight, correct exposure, china balls
Chapter 10: Lighting Non-narrative - interview, corporate video, reality TV
Chapter 11: Lighting for Dramatic Effect - candles, lightning, using color for mood, silhouette
Chapter 12: Lighting Tricks and Concerns - poor man's process shot, rain, interior windows
Chapter 13: Product and Glamour - product shots, glamour looks, commercials
Chapter 14: Inspiration and Learning from the Masters - paintings, interviews with professional gaffers, Lighting Directors, Cinematographers
Glossary & Appendix: Lists of lighting terminology, lighting equipment with photos, lighting resources (phone apps and websites) and suggested readings

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