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Basic rules and principles of lighting


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#1 Andrea Altgayer

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:23 PM

Hey there guys,

What are the basic rules and principles of lighting for the camera?

Most of the DOPs that I have worked with have very different styles, and I always make a point of remembering how, for example, how they lit the interior of a car for a commercial etc, but they have not explained the theory of lighting to me.

PLEEEZE tell me everything that I need to know about basic lighting setups! (In fact, if you have time, please tell me everything that I need to know about lighting, period!) But first things first - please tell me the basic rules aboout basic lighting setups!

Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to everyone who has answered my questions about how to enter the American and Mexican film industries.

Bye,

Andrea
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#2 Kris Carrillo

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:54 PM

to quote one of my instructors:

"The first rule of lighting is that there are no rules."
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#3 MiguelDelValle

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 09:07 PM

see the scene, choose a lamp, turn the lamp on, place it somewere, measure than shoot.

How about reading "Lighting for televitsion and film" gerald Millerson. Focal press ISBN 0 240 51582 X

or the other 100 books on the subject that you can find in many places like cinematography.com
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#4 oscar jimenez

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 09:41 PM

HI
LIGHTNING FOR FILM AND VIDEO-BLAIN BROWN.
THE NEGATIVE - ANSEL ADAMS
MASTERS OF LIGHT- AUTHOR??
"DIAS DE UNA CAMARA" - NESTOR ALMENDROS ( DONT KNOW THE NAME IN ENGLISH )
HOPE IT HELPS
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:05 PM

Read as much as you can and shoot as much as you can. People can teach you a lot but the things that will stick with you will be the things you see for yourself.

If you have the equipment available, try to mimic lighting you really like.

Try to find as many variations on basic 3-point lighting as you can by using hard and soft sources, different ratios, different light positions, etc.

Look at photos or stop DVDs and try to analyze the lighting. Look at shadows and reflections and figure out what they did to light the scene as they did. Then think about why they might have lit this scene the way they did. This, in particular has taught me a lot and it doesn't require any equipment that most people don't already have.
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#6 John Thomas

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 10:46 PM

Andrea,

Take a long walk alone in a quiet wooded place on a partly sunny day with your still camera. Create some frames that are touched by light and speak to you. See if you can find some frames without a feeling of light. There some treasures to be found for those who look carefully enough. Don't let anything but light and shadow distract you. Good luck,

JT
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#7 Gilbert

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 11:21 PM

Hey there guys,

What are the basic rules and principles of lighting for the camera?

Andrea

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


For the very basic Creative Lighting Techniques go to:

http://galaxyrepairs...om/contact.html

and click on the Lighting Techniques at the bottom of the page.

Hope this helps,
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 01:52 AM

Lighting isn't about applying rules and formulas; that's more of a by-product.

Lighting is about using your eyes and your imagination and SEEING in your mind how the light in the scene should fall for dramatic reasons. Forget technique and technology for one moment. Before you can figure out how to light a shot, you have to know what you are trying to accomplish.

We can tell you techniques to help you accomplish an idea, but we can't supply the idea itself.

Let's say the question is "how do I light this shot of a person sitting in a chair?" Well, first you have to imagine the light for the scene, hopefully based on the mood suggested by the story. Now in your imagination, you may see a soft, grayish dawn light coming from a window to one side, gently bathing the room in a soft but dim light. You may imagine someone reading by the light of a nearby lamp, or by the orange, flickering glow of a fire. You may imagine someone sitting with their back to the window with intense sunlight falling on the back of their head and shoulders, and their face in near silhouette.

Many ways to light a person sitting in a chair and none of them follows a rule or formula.

But THEN you need the craft to make this image in your head a reality.

So if you want to learn lighting, study light: in paintings, in art photos, in movies, in reality all around you, and begin to think in those terms. Develop your visual imagination. Once you know what you want to do, figuring out how to do it is easier. But you can't start with the techniques if you don't have a specific goal already in mind.
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#9 rajavel

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 02:32 AM

hey andrea
i am new to this site :unsure: and i got to know that u had been answered regarding the american and mexican film industries...how do i refer to those replies..if u could help great. :D cheers!!
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#10 L K Keerthi Basu

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 11:18 AM

Always observe things around you, while walking,eating,learning,traveling etc. Nature is a teacher. Observe lightings in a coffee shop while having your coffee, even in your living room and sometime you will get new things which others were not observed. One lighting I want to share is, It is a coffee shop in the highway it is almost sun to set. The sun was directly hitting the mirror in the shop the whole shop was fill with yellow light reflected from the mirror. The vehicles which were passing in the highway were blocking and opening the sun. So it created something like flickering effect in the shop. It was really a beautiful scene.

L.K.Keerthibasu
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#11 rajavel

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Posted 27 May 2005 - 05:32 AM

Always observe things around you, while walking,eating,learning,traveling etc. Nature is a teacher. Observe lightings in a coffee shop while having your coffee, even in your living room and sometime you will get new things which others were not observed.  One lighting I want to share is, It is a coffee shop in the  highway it is almost sun to set. The sun was directly hitting the mirror in the shop the whole shop was fill with yellow light reflected from the mirror.  The vehicles which were passing in the highway were blocking and opening the sun. So it created something like flickering effect in the shop.  It was really a beautiful scene.

L.K.Keerthibasu

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


that was very interesting!!!
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#12 Andrea Altgayer

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 02:04 PM

hey andrea
i am new to this site  :unsure: and i got to know that u had been answered regarding the american and mexican film industries...how do i refer to those replies..if u could help great.  :D cheers!!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi Rajavel!

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply, but you can find my posts under the "General Discussion" and "First Time Filmmakers" sections on this forum. They should be pretty easy to find, as their titles are 'How to get into the American Film Industry", "how to get into the Mexican film industry" etc.

In fact, I think that all the posts on this forum starting with "how to get into..." are mine! :lol:

Bye,

Andrea
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