The most significant contribution to film imagery is lighting. Lighting is the key to turning amateur footage into professional stories and presentation. A SHOT IN THE DARK: A CREATIVE DIY GUIDE TO DIGITAL VIDEO LIGHTING ON (ALMOST) NO BUDGET shows that good lighting doesn’t always require expensive or extensive Hollywood hardware. With a little creativity, ingenuity, and some elbow grease, you can create your own lighting arsenal to handle a multitude of situations. This book will show do-it-yourselfers how to create their own equipment and how best to use it. The first part of the book teaches you about the basics–the fundamentals of light, color, exposure, and electricity–that are the building blocks of lighting. You’ll discover what light is and how to control it. Once you have that foundation, the book will introduce tips, techniques, and hands-on projects that instruct you on how to create your own lighting tools from inexpensive, readily available resources. The only limit to what you can do is your imagination.
From the Author: Five Tips to Better Images
- Never use auto exposure! Your exposure is your strongest brush in your photographic arsenal. Never allow a piece of hardware to tell you where to place your exposure. Evaluate the scene, evaluate the lighting levels, and make an educated decision based on what you want your audience to see.
- Learn to control your lighting quality. Choosing the right quality of light for the right situations helps to refine your images considerably! Hard light, soft light, or a combination of the two: learn to use these tools to your advantage.
- Position your lights according to the mood you want to convey. When it comes to lighting, it should rarely (if ever) be about ‘just enough light to shoot.’ Lighting creates a mood and helps tell a story. Whether it is a corporate interview or a dramatic scene, your light position helps the audience to experience the right mood.
- Learn to see light. Photographic lighting doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s based on real-world experiences. Sometimes you want your light to be surreal and foreign, and sometimes you want it to be incredibly natural and not feel ‘lit’ at all. The best way to learn the differences is to study light in the natural world. Natural and artificial lighting in your everyday life will surprise you with how beautiful and memorable it can be. Learn to not take light for granted and to see it around you at all times.
- The most important thing you do with lighting is to direct the audience’s attention to where you want it to be. What is most important in this shot or scene? Starting there will help dictate how you will add or subtract lighting to make sure the audience is seeing what you want them to see when you want them to see it.