Lighting for Cinematography - A Practical Guide to the Art and Craft of Lighting for the Moving Image

Author(s): David Landau


We can't shoot good pictures without good lighting, no matter how good the newest cameras are. Shooting under available light gives exposure, but lacks depth, contrast, contour, atmosphere and often separation. The story could be the greatest in the world, but if the lighting is poor viewers will assume it's amateurish and not take it seriously. Feature films and TV shows, commercials and industrial videos, reality TV and documentaries, even event and wedding videos tell stories. Good lighting can make them look real, while real lighting often makes them look fake. Lighting for Cinematography, the first volume in the new CineTech Guides to the Film Crafts series, is the indispensable guide for film and video lighting. Written by veteran gaffer and cinematographer David Landau, the book helps the reader create lighting that supports the emotional moment of the scene, contributes to the atmosphere of the story and augments an artistic style. Structured to mimic a 14 week semester, the chapters cover such things as lighting for movement, working with windows, night lighting, lighting the three plains of action and non-fiction lighting.
Every chapter includes stills, lighting diagrams and key advice from professionals in the field, as well as lighting exercises to help the reader put into practice what was covered.


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A how-to book on the art, craft and practice of lighting for film & video for students and filmmakers.

David Landau has produced an excellent text in Lighting for Cinematography which manages to cover the practicalities of production, the technical aspects of lighting and vitally the artistic importance of this work. Lighting for Cinematography is constructed to appeal and be of value to the practitioner at all levels; it is equally full of detail for careful consideration and quick hints and images for review before filming. Landau's book is helpfully crammed with instructional diagrams and the chosen images act as exemplars of technique. Lighting for Cinematography contains a series of production skills and helpful hints and exercises; these aspects are exceptionally helpful to the student of film wishing to improve their understanding and technique. I would highly recommend Lighting for Cinematography to those to wish to learn more about this field and to all those interested in the technique and process of film making. -- Robert Edgar, Senior Lecturer in Film and TV Production, York St John University, UK A master class in cinematography! David Landau's conversational tone mixed with 35 years of technical experience and aesthetic prowess results in a very accessible text that should be cherished by students and professionals alike. Whether he is describing the process of lighting through a window with a 1200 HMI Par with a double scrim, 250 diffusion and 1/2 CTO or describing his method of achieving a firelight effect with several 250W Inkies with a mixture of amber and orange gels and run through a flicker box, Landau's multiple accounts from his work in the field give this book a much appreciated practicality and voice of authority that is invaluable for the emerging cinematographer. -- Harlan Bosmajian, Assistant Professor of Cinematography, Emerson College, USA and Local 600 Director of Photography

David Landau has over thirty years of professional lighting experience working on feature films, TV shows, sit-coms, game shows, commercials, documentaries, industrial films, music videos and direct-to-consumer DVDs. Landau teaches lighting and cinematography at Fairleigh Dickinson University, US, where he also created the Cinematography track of study, but continues to work in the lighting industry, shooting low budget features and corporate videos, designing lights for theatre and working as one of the gaffers on the TV series Project Runway. A five-time Telly Award winner for lighting and cinematography, Landau is a member of IATSE Local 52, the University Film & Video Association and Media Communications Association International.

Acknowledgments Introduction: No matter how good a camera, good lighting is what sells the picture Chapter 1: The Magic of Light - What lighting does for the image and what light is. Chapter 2: Who and What Makes Light- the lighting crew, lighting units, basic electricity Chapter 3: Lighting the Subject - motivated and three point lighting Chapter 4: Light the shot, not just the subject - three plains of lighting Chapter 5: Common Practical Lighting Set-ups - cross key, chicken coop, china ball, bathrooms Chapter 6: Lighting for Movement - subject & camera, ambient soft light Chapter 7: Dealing with Daylight 1: Shooting Exteriors Chapter 8: Dealing with Daylight 2: Working with windows Chapter 9: Night Light- lighting night exteriors & interiors Chapter 10: Working with Color - using color for mood, gels Chapter 11: Light the scene, not just the shot - High Key, Low Key, contrast ratios, exposure choice, Chiaroscuro lighting, Rembrandt, Butterfly lighting Chapter 12: Special Lighting Considerations & Effects- fire, water, rain, fog, lightening, poor man's process shot, green screen, product shots, etc Chapter 13: Lighting Non-fiction - Interview, Corporate, News Magazine, Documentary, Reality Chapter 14: Inspiration and Lighting Looks Appendix 1: Tales from the Trade - interviews with professional gaffers, LDs & Cinematographers Appendix 2: Resources - Apps, books, magazines, websites, etc. Glossary Index

General Fields

  • : 9781628926927
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • : July 2014
  • : July 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : David Landau
  • : Paperback
  • : 336