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Brock Smith

Best lighting books for film?

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Ok, so this is my first post on this website. My name is Brock Smith, i'm 22, and I'm about to graduate from a small film school here in LA. Over the next year I plan on spending all of my free time studying light and sets (since these are my weakest points; as seen in my most recent work: http://www.vimeo.com/615179).

 

I was wondering basically how you all learned and the best materials available to read and study it. I am eager to learn and do good work and would really appreciate you're all's help. Thank you for your time.

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At the top of this page is a link to a fairly complete list of books out there for camera and lighting. you just need to jump right in and start collecting them. however i would say that The Set Technicians Lighting Handbook by Harry Box is an essential beginner's text that covers all the fundamentals.

different people learn in different ways but for my part i have learned almost everything i know about lighting from being on set working with experienced crew in camera, electric and grip dept. then it's the hands on approach of making my own decisions (and mistakes) as i gain experience myself.

actors act, writers write, directors direct and lighters light. this is the way.

good luck

f

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Is it just me or is there not actually a list of books when you click on books. It seems to be moved but I can't find where it went to.

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Is it just me or is there not actually a list of books when you click on books. It seems to be moved but I can't find where it went to.

 

Works fine for me.

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Send me your address and I'll send you one of my DVDs on lighting free that might help you understand what we look at with lighting and how it translates to what we make.

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I really appreciate it guys. I'll look into ordering this book this week. The more i make films the more i realize it's not just a lens or camera that makes a good film look good, but the lighting and textures. Thanks again for your input!

 

P.S. Walter, I PM'd you

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I really like the book, "Reflections- twenty one cinematographers at work". It's chock full of lighting scenarios, diagrams, interviews and other helpful info that you can learn from. I agree with Frank that seeing and doing things first hand is the best way to learn, but this is one of the books that I found very informative and helpful.

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A really great book that I've learned a lot from is Motion Picture and Video Lighting by Blain Brown. It as lots of pictures to explain what he's talking about. It goes thru tons of different fixtures, styles of lighting, power distribution and even has lighting plots for several scenes from famous films.

I really enjoy this book and keep it close when I need to look something up.

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A really great book that I've learned a lot from is Motion Picture and Video Lighting by Blain Brown. It as lots of pictures to explain what he's talking about. It goes thru tons of different fixtures, styles of lighting, power distribution and even has lighting plots for several scenes from famous films.

 

I really enjoy this book and keep it close when I need to look something up.

 

That sounds awesome! That's what i'm looking for! Thanks!

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I'll give Blain's book a nod to. Blaine and I worked together for a while when he was in NY many years ago before going west. He's a great guy and knows his stuff.

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Send me your address and I'll send you one of my DVDs on lighting free that might help you understand what we look at with lighting and how it translates to what we make.

 

 

Hey Walter, might that offer be available to any other lighting newbs on here? :rolleyes:

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Hey Walter, might that offer be available to any other lighting newbs on here? :rolleyes:

 

same here. I am in need of some lighting DVD goodness.

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hi , im rahul from India , im studying cinematography at film institute , do u have any books regarding lighting , hope so it would be a favourable reply friends : ) .. if so mail me friends my id is rahul_rahul0077@yahoo.com

Edited by rahul dharuman

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Ok, so this is my first post on this website. My name is Brock Smith, i'm 22, and I'm about to graduate from a small film school here in LA. Over the next year I plan on spending all of my free time studying light and sets (since these are my weakest points; as seen in my most recent work: http://www.vimeo.com/615179).

 

I was wondering basically how you all learned and the best materials available to read and study it. I am eager to learn and do good work and would really appreciate you're all's help. Thank you for your time.

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I was wondering basically how you all learned and the best materials available to read and study it. I am eager to learn and do good work and would really appreciate you're all's help. Thank you for your time.

 

I have found that in my few short years as a working DP, the Best way to learn is to shoot, and to keep shooting, get on as many sets as you can and shoot as much as you can, at least for me I have to see what the light is doing rather then reading about it, even if there is diagrams i need to see it, and see how and what I can do to change it. Mistakes are a good way to learn too.....

 

I would suggest "Reflections- twenty one cinematographers at work" is a great book to check out, also "the 5 C's of cinematography"

 

marc

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i second anything by blain brown. i have his cinematography book and found it a great read. really easy going, really imformative. gonna have to look into 'motion picture and video lighting' for myself... books are so expensive though here in the UK. infact if any uk based people have any literature they've outgrown then PM me and i might be interested.

 

another one to note would be 'lighting for film and television' by gerald millarson (focal press). its usually my second port of call for technical lighting stuff i dont know (first of course would be the search function here :D )

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There is a book that I've never seen mentioned on this board that I found to be a tremendous help, it's called "Light: Science and Magic" by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, and Paul Fuqua.

 

It's definitely aimed at still photographers doing product shots, but the book is about the principles of light and how it behaves. It discusses in detail what a lot of lighting books hardly touch on... the way light reflects and behaves off of various surfaces... wood, metal, glossy stuff, etc. It talks about common problems when dealing with different surface types and even though the techniques they teach for dealing with them might only be practical to still photographers, the principle behind those techniques is definitely applicable to motion picture work.

 

It's a must-read as far as I'm concerned.

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Hi- I have a new book out at Amazon and Barnes&Noble.com about lighting for video:

Shaping Light for Video in the Age of LEDS (2018) by Alan Steinheimer. It is fairly comprehensive, probably best used by students and working PAs interested in lighting.

I have tried to style the book in the "Dummies" format to keep it more lively and easy to read. There is also a Kindle version version available at Amazon.

I am a working gaffer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 

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Reading books is great but you need to practice and the best advice I got was to practice with miniatures. Buy one of those clamp-on desk lamps with the long swiveling articulated arm, then go to the thrift store and buy yourself 10 to 15 small objects including toy people and spray paint them white. (You can also use a small spot on a light stand but I assume youre broke after paying for college).

When its dark out arrange your objects into little scenes and use your one desk lamp plus one hunk of foam core as a reflector to replicate the lighting patterns in your books. It is permissible to use black foil to cut the light.

Take photos and keep notes. Under no circumstances use two lights until you can do the all the basic one-light patterns in your sleep.

Its all about learning to see the light and where it is coming from and where it goes.

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