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Old December 22nd, 2007, 11:33 AM   #1
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Lighting equipment discussion

Hey everyone,

For the past year or so, i've been educating myself in the ways of film production. What I feel I do not have a good understanding of is lighting composition. This I have come to understand from being a member of DVInfo.net is ESSENTIAL in film and video production. For starters, I found a website that is selling an indie filmmakers lighting kit with an asortment of different lights I am assuming for different reasons. What I would like to know is why film makers would use these lights.

http://www.pclightingsystems.com/tungsten/tungsten.html
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 12:08 PM   #2
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Lowell's "Matters of Light and Depth", Blain Browns' "Cinematography" and John Jackmans' "Lighting for Digital Video and Television" are 3 books that would give you a great start. They are not the only ones.

The last one, Jackmans, would propably be the most hands-on, and the one most relevant to the small productions that comprise most video shoots. (I've just skimmed it, but it seems to be pretty good.) With most books on cinematography being geared towards larger film shoots, while the principals are the same, they often mention using sizes and types of lighting instruments that won't be applicable to small, low budget videos.

There are some good DVDs out there that will SHOW you setups and tricks as well. I say this because it is dfficult to put into words what and how these or any other lights behave unless you have a visual reference already in your head as to what we are referring to.

One quick note- as you look at the 'production' pictures of the lights in action, observe not only what they illuminate, but what they don't illuminate, either by casting shadows or by not reaching that part of the frame.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 12:56 PM   #3
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Eric - Thank you sir!!

Thank you so much for the refrences. I have found them on Amazon and will more than likely buy the book by Jackman. Although, I find that it is always good to to get a good idea of the full spectrum. I will probably get the other two as well.

[QUOTE]There are some good DVDs out there that will SHOW you setups and tricks as well. I say this because it is dfficult to put into words what and how these or any other lights behave unless you have a visual reference already in your head as to what we are referring to.[QUOTE]

This is very true Eric...as I am sure these books can be quite helpful, I find that since I am a hands on learner and more visually attuned, that a video may be more benificial in my understanding of light composition. Would you (or anyone else) happen to know a good video like this?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 01:05 PM   #4
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My personal favorite lighting book is a photography book called "Light - Science & Magic". It's not equipment-centric and focuses on the type and quality of light in different situations.

As for DVDs:
- DV Enlightenment
- Light It Right - by Victor Milt
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 02:38 PM   #5
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I'll second Michael's suggestions and add a couple of my own.

DVD - Visions of Light, The Art of Cinematography

The Five C's of Cinematography not lighting ordained, however a must read.

Bill
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski View Post
My personal favorite lighting book is a photography book called "Light - Science & Magic". It's not equipment-centric and focuses on the type and quality of light in different situations.

As for DVDs:
- DV Enlightenment
- Light It Right - by Victor Milt
Michael - Thank you!

I have found both of the DVDs that you recomended. They both sound like VERY good instructional videos. So now the question would be...Which one!?

They both sound VERY good..so I imagine either would be good although I feel that the VASST video is more for my money since it is $79.00 for 90 minutes where as the Dv enlightenment video is $75.00 for 55 minutes.
Any professional suggestions?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hamell View Post
I'll second Michael's suggestions and add a couple of my own.

DVD - Visions of Light, The Art of Cinematography

The Five C's of Cinematography not lighting ordained, however a must read.

Bill
Bill,

Thank you for the suggestions!
The DVD sounds good, but the book sounds even better :)

Wow you guys are gonna have me spending over 200 bucks just on books and Videos and I haven't even got the equipment yet! But this is good - spending 200 self educating myself is better than moving to Florida or California, and spending thousands on film school :) Although nothing can beat hands on education, I just can't afford that luxury as I am just now finishing a degree in anthropology. Can't go back and change my major or pick up a minor now :(
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:03 PM   #8
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You could go to the library, “try before you buy” then get the ones you find benefit you the most. :-)

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Old December 23rd, 2007, 01:40 AM   #9
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Yes of corse, although i'm not sure a local library would have such DVDs or books...Perhaps I could try inner library loan.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 05:20 PM   #10
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Hi Terry,

The above references and DVDs are fine. It all depends on what you're trying to accomplish (all these links have online demo videos).

On the high-end professional lighting there's "Digital Cinema Training".

http://digitalcinematraining.com/

And for the cost-conscientious DIY gang, consider "Digital Lighting Magic Videos".

http://www.elitevideo.com/browseprod...ting-pros.HTML

As mentioned by others, dv Enlightenment is also an excellent video.

http://dvcreators.net/dv-enlightenment

You'll find these and other training videos are often aligned to a manufacturer or genre of equipment (by $$$). Digital Cinema Training will use Arri, Kinoflow, Seconix spot meters, etc. dv Creators will use medium priced Lowel gear geared for the prosumer. Elite Video will use DIY hardware from Home Depot, etc. Incidentally, does Doug Jensen also demos Lowel gear in "How to Setup, Light, & Shoot Great Looking Interviews".

http://www.vortexmedia.com/LightingDVD/LIGHTING.html

In summary, these are all very good videos depending on what you're trying to accomplish - after you consider your goals and budget, go for it!

Warm Regards, Michael
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 05:55 PM   #11
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Hey Terry, to bad you don't live in Bowling Green, Ky. I'm about to buy some lights from cool lights(if they come in on the 26th). We could learn together if you lived closer. What type of stuff do you shoot?
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Old December 24th, 2007, 12:37 AM   #12
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Michael, very helpful information, thank you!

So, DCT is an actual corse designed to train people in digital cinema? I watched the preview videos on the site and they, as you said, seam oriented toward certain equipment that most prosumers would be unlikely to have. However, it does seam to explain things in a very detailed manner and could be very useful to the prosumer aswell. I as an amatur, still do not understand certain key concepts that are essential to producing quality work. To be honest, I've only used a prosumer camera for about a week and even then I didn't really do anything with it other than turn the thing on and say "wow, thats cool" a whole lot. Needless to say, I have a lot of learning to do. First hand experience would be the better choice but that is unfortunately a luxury I do not have access to at the moment. These DCT videos however seam to fit my needs not only with lighting, but with a variety of different aspects.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 12:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Stemen View Post
Hey Terry, to bad you don't live in Bowling Green, Ky. I'm about to buy some lights from cool lights(if they come in on the 26th). We could learn together if you lived closer. What type of stuff do you shoot?
Eric - That doesn't sound like a bad Idea, however I honestly have virtually no experience with prosumer equipment at all. I generally get on here to talk with the pros about different concepts to get a better understanding of things. You wouldn't happen to own a DVX-100 would you? I talked to a guy at the Louisville skatepark awhile back who had just bought one.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #14
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Fortunately, and unfortunately I don't own a DVX. I own a Sony VX-2000.

If you have some cool ideas about anthropology you think would be worth while to shot, I have some camera gear....we could teach each other about things.

you have myspace or facebook?
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Old December 24th, 2007, 09:49 AM   #15
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I'm in Louisville as well and would be more than happy to share my 20 years of experience in lighting and the basics of various technics.
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