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A Shot in the Dark: A Creative DIY Guide to Digital Video Lighting on (Almost) No Budget

Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. Introduction
  5. What You Need
    1. Buying the Real Stuff
    2. Stocking the Store
    3. Stocking Your Toolbag
  6. The Fundamentals
    1. The Beginning: What Is Light?
    2. The Electromagnetic Spectrum: We’re Surrounded!
    3. Seeing the Light
    4. How Hot Is Blue?
  7. Understanding Exposure
    1. Exposure Basics
    2. Seeing in Black and White
    3. Do You Need a Light Meter?
    4. Calibrated Monitors
    5. Using Your Viewfinder to Judge Exposure
    6. Moving Ahead
  8. Understanding Electricity
    1. A Horror Story
    2. The Basics of Electromotive Force
    3. Elements of Electricity
    4. AC/DC
    5. Seeing Circuits in Action
    6. It’s All About the Amps
  9. Light Quality
    1. Hard Light
    2. Soft Light
  10. Lighting Techniques
    1. Position of Light
    2. The Key Light
    3. The Art of the Fill
    4. Modeling Faces
    5. Look Behind You: Background Lighting
    6. Swimming in the Pools of Light
    7. Working from Wide to Close
    8. It’s All About the Story
  11. Soft Lights
    1. Using Paper Lanterns (Japanese Lanterns or China Balls)
    2. The Croney Cone
    3. Understanding the Switch
    4. Making a Box Light
    5. Making an (Almost) Instant Diffusion Frame
    6. Making a PVC Diffusion Frame
  12. Tungsten Fixtures
    1. Bulbs 101: The Science Behind Tungsten Light
    2. Photofloods
    3. In a Pinch: The Clip-On
    4. Halogen Work Light
    5. The Batten Strip
    6. The Covered Wagon
  13. Fluorescent Fixtures
    1. Bulbs 101: The Science Behind Fluorescent Light
    2. CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps)
    3. Making a Fluorescent Fixture
  14. A Light by Any Other Name: LEDs and More
    1. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
    2. The Road Ahead: Using Headlamps as Fixtures
    3. ‘Tis the Season: Lighting with Christmas Lights
    4. Get a Rope: Using Rope Lights
    5. Using Stick-Ups and Hide-Aways
    6. Being Reflective: Using Mirrors as a Light Source
    7. Innovation at Work
    8. What Else?
  15. Accessories and Miscellaneous Tools
    1. Making a “Hand Squeezer” Dimmer
    2. Making Your Own Flags
    3. Making Your Own Nets
    4. Parting Thoughts
  16. Bibliography and Suggested Further Reading
  17. Glossary
  18. Index