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Lighting Practice


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#1 Cristian Carceller

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 01:39 AM

Hey all



I am a 16 year old filmer who dreams of becoming a cinematographer in the future... I have been working on films for about a year and a half and have met some really cool people through out my time... I have worked on 11 projects so for mainly being shorts, a PSA, Music videos, and cover videos. Recently i have been working with youtube musicians on cover videos and music videos. Mostly all of them i have DP'd myself and directed one music video. Plus two "higher" budget music videos as a PA and AC on the RED. I am having a blast so far in the filmmaking community and enjoy every minute of IT! (except the stress)hahah


But all of the projects I have done, my lighting has not been the greatest it can be and i really need some pointers on the way to look at a location and figure out how to light it. I know it takes a lot of practice and experience but i was wondering if there are some little gold nuggets of information to help me out. And since i have been doing some paying jobs lately I want to buy some lights to practice with on future projects. But i just dont know what to pick. Since I have a nice little dslr package going i really want to get my lighting set up higher up. So let me know if you have some INFO for me!




thanks a lot!

Cristian
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#2 Brian Smokler

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:42 AM

While it's not targeted to motion picture lighting, the Strobist website (www.strobist.com) is a great resource for learning how to light with DSLR cameras. The lighting hardware it focuses on is small battery powered strobes, but the principles in using them apply to continuous lighting as well. I think this is a good place to start since you have a DSLR already. David Hobby, the guy behind the site, has a focus on DIY modifiers and keeping costs low. I think you will enjoy it and find it useful.

Edited by Brian Smokler, 06 July 2011 - 10:46 AM.

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#3 Brian Smokler

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:43 AM

While it's not targeted to motion picture lighting, the Strobist website (www.strobist.com) is a great resource for learning how to light. The lighting hardware it focuses on is small battery powered strobes, but the principles in using them apply to continuous lighting as well. I think this is a good place to start since you have a DSLR already. David Hobby, the guy behind the site, has a focus on DIY modifiers and keeping costs low. I think you will enjoy it and find it useful.
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#4 Brian Smokler

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:54 AM

Sorry for the double post (musta double clicked on the send button)

I think Shane Hurlbut's behind the scenes stuff he's posted on Vimeo about his staffs' projects is really instructive as well.

is one and there are more.
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#5 Cristian Carceller

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 12:15 AM

thanks for the website brian... And i have seen those awesome Shane Hurlbut behind the scenes Video's... there really cool, and i watch them over and ever again!
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#6 Paul Brenno

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:23 PM

Cristian, starting out lighting is never easy, easy for the master DP's, it's not always easy....I graduated from film school in Montana, have been a DP fulltime now for video production companies for 5 yrs. I never went to Hollywood or NY (competition too fierce), plus had no desire to live in either place. In learning light, as I still am, I began by watching movies, studying them, pausing on great lighting sets on rooms and actors, just watching and observing. Another great way, is to read about lighting, color temperature to how film/video react to light, which will teach you how to expose correctly when shooting. Visit www.theasc.com, their book store, you can find a bunch of good sources on how to light. Another great way, if you live in LA or another big city, get in touch with DP's/Gaffer's in your area and ask to meet them or even volunteer as an assistant on shoots, see how they light.

I didn't have the opportunity (comign from a small town), so I just had to watch movies, read books, then joined the Air Force. I got to meet Emmy winner Ken Lamkin (ASC), he shot the " Frasier " sitcom, is retired now in San Antonio. He allowed me to come to set of a movie he was DP'ing/Directing, I got to see him work. Later, in film school, I got to meet oscar-winning DP Dean Semler (ACS/ASC) who photographed " Dances with Wolves ". I study his lighting, plus got to watch him and his DP work and see how they lit each scenes. Learn about color temperature to working with gels, diffusion and notice how light hits objects and people....take tones of photos/videos, make mistakes and learn from them. Also, learn about the lighting instruments, what they light/how they light a room, from Arri/Lowell to Kino-Flo to Mole Richardson and Chimera...

here's a youtube link on Dean Semler's photograph at a school in Australia;

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#7 Cristian Carceller

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 07:50 PM

Cristian, starting out lighting is never easy, easy for the master DP's, it's not always easy....I graduated from film school in Montana, have been a DP fulltime now for video production companies for 5 yrs. I never went to Hollywood or NY (competition too fierce), plus had no desire to live in either place. In learning light, as I still am, I began by watching movies, studying them, pausing on great lighting sets on rooms and actors, just watching and observing. Another great way, is to read about lighting, color temperature to how film/video react to light, which will teach you how to expose correctly when shooting. Visit www.theasc.com, their book store, you can find a bunch of good sources on how to light. Another great way, if you live in LA or another big city, get in touch with DP's/Gaffer's in your area and ask to meet them or even volunteer as an assistant on shoots, see how they light.

I didn't have the opportunity (comign from a small town), so I just had to watch movies, read books, then joined the Air Force. I got to meet Emmy winner Ken Lamkin (ASC), he shot the " Frasier " sitcom, is retired now in San Antonio. He allowed me to come to set of a movie he was DP'ing/Directing, I got to see him work. Later, in film school, I got to meet oscar-winning DP Dean Semler (ACS/ASC) who photographed " Dances with Wolves ". I study his lighting, plus got to watch him and his DP work and see how they lit each scenes. Learn about color temperature to working with gels, diffusion and notice how light hits objects and people....take tones of photos/videos, make mistakes and learn from them. Also, learn about the lighting instruments, what they light/how they light a room, from Arri/Lowell to Kino-Flo to Mole Richardson and Chimera...

here's a youtube link on Dean Semler's photograph at a school in Australia;


Thanks a lot Paul!

this really helped me a lot... And Just recently I had a music video shoot where I rented out an arri light kit with some grip and electric stuff. I really felt i was learning by doing during this project. I actually got to shape the light and use it in a great way. I experimented with gels and diffusion on this also. And since I do live out in L.A and my dad is a Grip for some High budget movies like Green Lantern for example, he would let me watch then do what they do. And thank you so much for that video you posted. I love watching these types of video's. I have basically scoped out all of youtube and vimeo for interviews with great DP's. And I am excited that i have been meeting DP's lately and they are inviting me on shoots to be something then a PA!


thankyou


cristian
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#8 Toby Orzano

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:03 PM

One really fortunate thing for the student of light is that most of us are immersed in it for a significant portion of every single day. As you go about your everyday business, study the light in the different situations you encounter. How is each source affecting everything around it? Think about the angle and color and quality of each source. What is causing the light to look the way it does? Determine what it is about the light in certain situations that make that situation unique. What about the quality of morning sunlight coming in through a window makes you able to recognize that it is morning light coming in through a window, and how would you replicate it if you had to start from scratch on a stage? Notice also the absence of light in certain situations. What you can't see can be just as important as what you can see.

I would also recommend taking general physics classes in high school and/or college. You will learn about the physics of light, optics, electricity, mechanics and other very practical topics that are pertinent to filmmaking. When it comes down to it, you probably won't need the mathematics on set, but the concepts you learn will really enrich your understanding of the medium you are working with.

Sounds like you're already on the right track and way ahead of the game for your age. Keep shooting, keep reading, keep asking questions. Don't just make "contacts" with other people in the field, make friends.
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#9 Cristian Carceller

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:35 AM

One really fortunate thing for the student of light is that most of us are immersed in it for a significant portion of every single day. As you go about your everyday business, study the light in the different situations you encounter. How is each source affecting everything around it? Think about the angle and color and quality of each source. What is causing the light to look the way it does? Determine what it is about the light in certain situations that make that situation unique. What about the quality of morning sunlight coming in through a window makes you able to recognize that it is morning light coming in through a window, and how would you replicate it if you had to start from scratch on a stage? Notice also the absence of light in certain situations. What you can't see can be just as important as what you can see.

I would also recommend taking general physics classes in high school and/or college. You will learn about the physics of light, optics, electricity, mechanics and other very practical topics that are pertinent to filmmaking. When it comes down to it, you probably won't need the mathematics on set, but the concepts you learn will really enrich your understanding of the medium you are working with.

Sounds like you're already on the right track and way ahead of the game for your age. Keep shooting, keep reading, keep asking questions. Don't just make "contacts" with other people in the field, make friends.


Thanks Toby

That is something I have never really thought about and is a great idea for me to do. Thanks a lot

Cristian
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#10 Paul Brenno

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:15 PM

Glad you liked the video link I sent....if your Dad is a Grip (from your response) THAT is an excellent way to " get in "....no guarantees I'm sure, but at least he can introduce you to other pros in the field like Grips, Gaffers to other Cameraman...I would ask to volunteer as a PA to go out on shoots with various crew members, so they get to know you, see your a good worker, then hire you !!!!
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Visual Products

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Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Technodolly