History of Lighting - Mark gives a brief history of lighing in motion pictures, from early days with Thomas Edison of controling sunlight, through 20th century Hollywood, to the modern technologies of today.
- Before we get into how to light your video project, I wanna give you a little historical perspective. When motion pictures were first invented over 100 years ago, the film was very slow. That is, it needed a lot of light to record an image. That's why people you see in the oldest photographs are all posed very stiffly. It took a long time to expose even a single frame of film back then. Eventually, film got fast enough to expose at just a fraction of a second, making motion pictures possible. But the only thing bright enough to expose the film in such a short time was the sun.
That was fine for shooting outside, but in order to shoot indoor scenes, Thomas Edison built sets and shot inside his Black Maria, a huge, barn-like structure with an open roof where they could open and close giant, black drapes to control the sunlight. They operated these big drapes with long poles with hooks on the ends called gaff poles, like the kind sailors would use to grab ropes in the water. That's why, even today, people who do lighting for films are still called gaffers. A few decades later, electric movie lights were in use, but film was still pretty slow, so the lights were big and required a lot of manpower, a lot of electricity, and a lot of expertise to operate.
As time went on, film, and eventually video cameras, got faster, and lighting technology improved, putting out more light with less power. We went from giant arc lights that could compete with the sun to tungsten lights, HMIs, and lately, fluorescents and LED lights, using much less energy and being a lot easier to handle. Lighting effects that took a full crew to do a few decades ago can now be done single-handedly if necessary with no more equipment than what fits in the trunk of your car. Furthermore, unlike in the film era, when you're shooting on HD video, you can see exactly what you're getting immediately on your camera's monitor, taking away a lot of the guesswork of cinematography.
The HD video camera in your phone is better than the best video camera in the world was just 20 years ago. And the image quality you can get with a modern, relatively inexpensive DSLR rivals that of film, especially if you're seeing it on TV or the internet. So, with a little lighting knowledge, there's no reason you can't get great results on your projects with gear that's within your reach.
In this course, Mark W. Gray teaches the fundamentals of portrait lighting, including standard three-point lighting setups, how to light for specific subjects, and how to deal with the challenges of location shooting. He shows you the effect of big and small lighting changes, including angle, intensity, and color temperature. He discusses the various types of lighting equipment available, providing both professional options and affordable options. Mark also demonstrates how to go beyond the standard setup to achieve a variety of outcomes.
- Lighting fundamentals including shape, quality, color, and direction
- Understanding when to implement specific lighting techniques
- Controlling the quality of light
- The basic 3-point lighting setup
- Shooting outdoors and controlling sunlight
- Understanding color temperature and making correct color choices
- Finding budget-friendly lighting solutions
- Staging your shots for maximum quality and minimum effort