Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lighting: Selected Readings

Regardless of what you are shooting with - the EX1, HVX, XHA1, the RED, 35mm film, your cellphone - the skills of the people involved are always more important than the equipment being used. Eric Clapton will be able to produce better music by strumming a tennis racket than I could with a brand new Fender Stratocaster. And the same goes for making movies.

The question keeps arising in forums everywhere. How do I make footage on my A1 / Z1U / EX1 / HVX / DVX / (insert non-film camera here) look like film? Or even more challenging (and important), how do I make it look like a big budget production? Or at least professional? And the standard answers come back... Shoot in 24p, color grade carefully in post, tweak the camera's settings... And most importantly, learn about lighting. And the advice is never "here are three quick lighting fixes for dummies, use them." The advice is always "learn about lighting."

And it is sound advice. Lighting technique is one of the things that will set a professional project apart from the work of beginners quite quickly. To the layperson, it may not register what the difference is. To the trained eye, it will be obvious. And that's not even getting into the subtleties of what lighting can do to convey a mood, or the possibilities in going against lighting conventions for artistic reasons, and so on.

With that in mind, here are a few useful links on lighting. The more you know...

"IT'S NOT THE BUDGET..." from ProVideoCoalition.

COMPLETE EEJIT'S GUIDE to Film and Video Lighting for Low Budgets.

DIY LIGHTING at Shuttertalk.



The following are also a few recommended books on the subject...

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