Basics of Exposure

Photography is first and foremost a record of light. You are alone behind the camera, doubling as artist and scientist, hoping that your light—and it is your light—will bring it all to life.

Tom McDonough (From Light Years: Confessions of a Cinematographer, Grove Press, New York, NY, 1987)

This quote by cinematographer and writer Tom McDonough neatly sums up the split personality of the cinematographer’s art … or is it craft … or is it science? The truth is, getting just the right image for the story you are trying to tell, for the mood you want to create, for the connection you’re trying to make with the audience, requires the instincts and sensitivity of an artist, the discipline of a craftsman, and the research ...

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