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#1 andrew heggli

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 04:58 PM

ok, I'll be very straight forward about this, i know NOTHING about lighting (at least compared to the majority of people on here) and would like to learn about this as quickly as possible. Where shoudl I start? Any good internetsites for pre-reading? Any good books? dbut most important of all, where can I get experience?

I have not got the money to be buying lighting equipment myself (not sure how much it costs but if its anything like the other technical wonders in film making then...) and even if I get a job as an AC, according to what i know about that job, I will be mostly watching other people do stuff (and even that will be useless if i don't understand the technical terms). So, great light masters, where shoudl i start?

Peace

Andrew
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 05:27 PM

How do you learn anything? Study and practice! Study by reading and receiving instruction (i.e. take a class); practice on your own or on-set, wherever and whenever you can.

This site has a great section of recommended books. You might start with this one.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:05 PM

It's a rough discipline to learn. There are intricacies untold and, this may be the big one, there is no right or wrong. I would suggest you get a 35mm SLR, an incident meter, and just start doing it.

Try lighting a room and see what it looks like.

Try lighting a person for wide shots and for closeups, see what they look like. Try placing a light, shining on a person, every 45 degrees or so around a circle, taking a shot every time you move the light. This will show you what all of the basic angles of light look like on a person. Try lighting a person for wide shots and for closeups, see what they look like.

Try to previsualize what you will do then accomplish it. No matter what we do, we can't just tell you everything there is to know. We can, however, answer specific questions you encounter along the way.
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#4 andrew heggli

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 05:35 AM

thanks for hte replys guys! I'll definatly be purchasing that book! and the lighting, taking a picture every 45 degrees seems like good practice. Just gonna have to save up for a 35mm slr... I have a Sony Alpha digital camera right now so will be testing out some stuff with that very soon! Hopefully I'll be able to put some pics up on the net and get some critque from you guys.
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#5 Patrick Lavalley

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 08:29 AM

I *highly* recommend getting an SLR. Buy cheap film at first, and just shoot shoot shoot. Get yourself some of those silver bowl clamp lights and some 100 watt bulbs or something so that you can practice with what sort of shadows you want to create. Also, I would suggest you take a lot of photos with natural light, since it's free and efficient and you'll realize also very beautiful. Get some white cards and practice bouncing. Also, watch a lot of movies and try to think how they might have lit the scene, where the shadows are, where the lights are coming from etc etc...
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#6 David Auner aac

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 09:00 AM

Just gonna have to save up for a 35mm slr... I have a Sony Alpha digital camera right now so will be testing out some stuff with that very soon!


If you have a DSLR, go ahead and use it. Be sure to shoot in manual mode when testing different setups. The only thing that will be different to 35mm still film will be the exposure latitude (i.e. the difference between the brightest and darkest areas). What I like about shooting digital pictures when testing lighting setups is the instant feedback you get. When you shoot film, be sure to keep notes on what you did.

Good luck!

Cheers, Dave
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#7 David Auner aac

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 09:07 AM

Andrew,
one more thing: girlfriends/spouses/wives are good guinea pigs for lighting setups :D. If that's not an option get a couple of friends to sit for you.

Cheers, Dave
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#8 andrew heggli

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 04:17 PM

Andrew,
one more thing: girlfriends/spouses/wives are good guinea pigs for lighting setups :D. If that's not an option get a couple of friends to sit for you.

Cheers, Dave


lol, thanks for the comments David! i live in norway, theres loads of girls to shoot (though i might have one perticular in mind :D ) and i will take all the advice here, really glad i found this site. I should probably buy a cheap SLR like Patrick said. WAIT! i just thought about it right now! maybe i can buy the one my dad has! its old but i think it still works. and his got multiple lenses so that could be fun too!

anyways, i will try to get hold of a slr and i will use the dlsr i have right now to take pictures with different light settings. About the manual mode thing, i've been testing that out lately, fun stuff! I've (for once) started reading the manual, i'm about half way through. I guess alll in all the best thing i can do is get practice and read.

Thanks again for the posts!
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 07 August 2007 - 05:18 PM

One good beginner's SLR is a used Pentax K-1000. They're a completely manual camera, you have to set everything and as a result you'll learn all the elements of making a good exposure. They use the same series of lenses that the high dollar Pentax's used for years so there are a lot of very good used lenses available pretty cheap. Pentax has never had the reputation that Nikon, Canon, etc. have so used Pentax gear is more affordable.

A good lighting setup for shooting people is china balls. Those are the large white spherical paper shades that you hang a standard light socket in the center and support from the lamp cord. Many people put light bulbs as large as 300 watt photofloods in them, but you do have to be careful at that much wattage to not let the bulb touch the paper. When fairly close to faces, they give a nice, soft wrap around light. Another good cheap light is the rectangular work lights available in 150 to 500 watts or so. They're awfully harsh used as is but used with diffusion or bounced they put out a pretty usable light.
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Visual Products