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A noobie was wondering...


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#1 Christopher Bordoy

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:38 AM

So a noobie was wondering where one would obtain sufficient and expansive knowledge on all aspects of Cinematography (besides schooling). Like what the best cameras would be to start off with, lighting techniques, etc..

I turn 23 on the 18th of this month and I've finally figured out...what's the purpose of life if you're not doing something that you honestly enjoy...and you know...I've decided that I'm going to get into everything I've ever wanted to do...starting with Cinematography :D I've always been fascinated by this outlet of creativity so any help would be greatly appreciated ;)

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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 11:33 AM

So a noobie was wondering where one would obtain sufficient and expansive knowledge on all aspects of Cinematography (besides schooling). Like what the best cameras would be to start off with, lighting techniques, etc..

I turn 23 on the 18th of this month and I've finally figured out...what's the purpose of life if you're not doing something that you honestly enjoy...and you know...I've decided that I'm going to get into everything I've ever wanted to do...starting with Cinematography :D I've always been fascinated by this outlet of creativity so any help would be greatly appreciated ;)

`The Rookie


First things first, you need to get yourself a 35mm SLR camera, a still camera, and teach yourself lighting with that. All cinematography is, in the end, is a bunch of still pictures strung together to give the illusion of movement. To first teach yourself, eliminate the movement, and work from there.
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#3 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:53 PM

Great advice !!!!!!
I always tell my students that, and only the ones that truly want to learn they follow that advice, the other ones they start playing with video cams.

First things first, you need to get yourself a 35mm SLR camera, a still camera, and teach yourself lighting with that. All cinematography is, in the end, is a bunch of still pictures strung together to give the illusion of movement. To first teach yourself, eliminate the movement, and work from there.


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#4 Matt Bizer

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 04:45 PM

I also agree. Still Photography is a great (and much cheaper) place to start your path. I would also tell you to go out and research all you can. Watch your favorite films with the sound off, look into the great Cinematographers as well as still photographers of the past, look at other uses of light in art (my first awakening to this was seeing the work of caravaggio in art history), find your local book store and read read read about the technical information, visit american cinematographer magazine's web site and look at the suggested reads... there are many great books, look at lighting situations and real life you think are beautiful and try and re create them, and most of all experiment and learn. This site alone is a great place to post questions your run into along the way. The fundamentals stay the same, but the technology and industry dont. you can never learn too much. I would say step 1 would be BOOKS.

Best of luck on one of the most rewarding journeys you can ever take.
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#5 Nicholas Jenkins

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 05:48 PM

I also agree. Still Photography is a great (and much cheaper) place to start your path. I would also tell you to go out and research all you can. Watch your favorite films with the sound off, look into the great Cinematographers as well as still photographers of the past, look at other uses of light in art (my first awakening to this was seeing the work of caravaggio in art history), find your local book store and read read read about the technical information, visit american cinematographer magazine's web site and look at the suggested reads... there are many great books, look at lighting situations and real life you think are beautiful and try and re create them, and most of all experiment and learn. This site alone is a great place to post questions your run into along the way. The fundamentals stay the same, but the technology and industry dont. you can never learn too much. I would say step 1 would be BOOKS.

Best of luck on one of the most rewarding journeys you can ever take.


I agree. I started with Still photography and it was extremely helpful. And don't think you can't tell story through still image. Each image should tell a story.
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#6 Christopher Bordoy

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 04:06 AM

Thank you guys so much for your feedback! The last few days I've been fiddling around with a video camera and the funny thing is...I decided I wanted to backtrack and actually start with still photography. And maybe the biggest sign and push towards that, should be these posts here.

Matt, Nate, Nicholas, and Martin...thank you for advice...and yes I agree this will be one of the most rewarding journeys of my life.

Now what do you guys think of the Nikon D40 Digital SLR as my first investment?

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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 03:06 PM

I'd recomend a cheap 35mm film camera over a $700 digital SLR. I have a rebel t2 that cost less than 150 bucks and is an excelent camera. No worries about digital flexability masking my progress in exposure and technique. Also you can shoot negative, reversal, b&w and even cine-film. Lenses are availible and usually pretty cheap (though the same would apply to digital)

How many stills are you going to take in practice of this craft? Even shooting several pictures a day, you'd only rack up 10-20 dollars a week in film and development. Its not like your a sports photographer taking 600 photos in 2 hours that need to be in the sports section by deadline. Film lets you take your time and experiement a bit more. Also it may be your only experience with film for some time, untill you can afford at least some 8mm.

For the cost of a digital SLR, memory stick and quality photo-printer, you could almost buy a rebel and a dark room set-up (well a few buck more maybe.) Then you'd be learning about proccessing and printing while your at it.

This will be a rewarding venture, especailly since it will never end. Just progress. Good luck, and if you'd like, post your work up here. Its great getting critical advice from all the proffesional people here. And if you feel the need to spend $700 on your first still, those nikon titanium bodies are pretty sweet. Or you can get a decent selection of lenses.
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