There are several ways to learn a craft—I can think of three, anyway. The first and most effective method is the mentor-apprentice method in which the interested student seeks out and works with a master in a given field. This method served the great painters quite well, right up to this century. Unfortunately, there are few masters willing to take assistants under their wings these days.

The second way to learn a craft is the hallowed learn-by-doing approach—a favorite of many film schools. Students are shown equipment and are expected to stumble along on their own, making mistakes, spending money, and learning ...

Get Basic Lighting Worktext for Film and Video now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.