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Cinematography: Theory and Practice, 2nd Edition by Blain Brown

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Lighting Basics

The Fundamentals of Lighting

I’m sure you’ve heard this, “If you light it right…” or “With good lighting, the scene will…” What does that mean? What is “good” lighting?

Lighting has nearly infinite permutations and variations. There is certainly no one “right” way to light a scene. As a result, there is no chance that we can just make a simple list of “proper” lighting techniques. What we can do, however, is try to identify what it is we want lighting to do for us. What jobs does it perform for us? What do we expect of “good” lighting? Starting this way, we have a better chance of evaluating when lighting is working or us and when it is falling short. Naturally, these are generalizations. There are always exceptions, as there ...

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