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Light Books, or where did you learn?


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#1 Tyler Leisher

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:19 AM

Hey everyone, I'm very interested in lighting, both for film and for photos. Where did you learn about lighting, books, schools, online resources?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:33 AM

Mainly from reading books and magazine articles, plus shooting my own stuff, plus watching movies and studying art (painting & photography, etc.). And most importantly... studying the light in real life.

"Film Lighting" by Kris Malkiewicz is a good place to start. "Matters of Light & Depth" by Ross Lowell too.

I collected a huge binder of frames from movies as a reference. I used to take snapshots off of a TV screen, but now it's easy to do frame grabs from a DVD on a computer.
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:38 AM

Hey everyone, I'm very interested in lighting, both for film and for photos. Where did you learn about lighting, books, schools, online resources?

I'm a theatrical lighting designer (not for a living in recent years but I did work professionally in Chicago and New York when a kid) who shot a lot of 16mm ethnographic film with an ex-wife. I got the bug a few years ago to get involved with narrative film-making. By trade, I'm a radio broadcast engineer which means I bring a lot to my own table in the areas of gaffing, sound, etc.

On the subject of books, "Cinematography" co-authored by the Forum's David Mullen is a great read. Jean Rosenthal's "The Magic of Light" was written by one of the most creative LD's ever. It's also a great read but unfortunately has become a collector's item and is hard to find for less than under $120 or so. If you're REAL lucky there's a school library near you with a copy of it. Jean lit a huge number of the great Broadway shows in the 1950's and 60's: Cabaret, Fiddler, Funny Girl, Plaza Suite, The Odd Couple, West Side Story, etc., etc. She died young or she'd probably still be lighting the best shows today.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 11:57 AM

I'll second the recommendations already made.

But if you're also interested in still photography, Ansel Adams 3 part series "The Camera, The Negative, The Print" is an excellent read. It doesn't teach you lighting specifically, but gives you examples that'll help you for knowing how to set your aperture and expose your lighting.

"Reflections" is also a fantastic read. It's a good mix of technical jargon, interviews with professional DP's and diagrams of various setups.

"The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook" is a must have if you want to know the lighting equipment.

Here's a great list of books that others here have recommended:
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=24234
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#5 Tyler Leisher

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 12:01 PM

Is there anyway to experiment without owning lights, or paying a lot to rent them? I want to expand my knowledge by trying as well as reading about it. But I can't afford to pay out of pocket at the moment.
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#6 Dominic Cochran

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 03:14 PM

Try taking a photography (or maybe even a film production?) class at your local community college. We get interns from these programs and although they end up knowing little about controlling the light, they at least had access to the equipment and learned how to expose properly.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 08:24 PM

It's not so much so about what equipment you use, IMHO, to create/control light but more how light interplays to create moods.
Myself, I always find myself looking at how light falls on my hand in different situations just to get an idea. Basically look at the world around you and the art of that world because while the equipment may change the basic principles won't. If you know how it should look, you can manipulate the lighting units you have to make it look that way (within reason, of course)
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#8 Hal Smith

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 08:41 PM

Is there anyway to experiment without owning lights, or paying a lot to rent them? I want to expand my knowledge by trying as well as reading about it. But I can't afford to pay out of pocket at the moment.

Home store halogen worklights plus china balls and DIY ingenuity will give you plenty of equipment to experiment with at a low price. $150 of lights, extension cords, etc. and you're good to go.
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#9 Walter Graff

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 09:49 AM

Try my webpage where I have some articles about lighting. Many schools and Universities use my site in their syllabus.

http://www.film-and-.../new-page6.html
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Glidecam

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Aerial Filmworks

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Opal

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies