Book on digital cinematography ? (2022)

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Book on digital cinematography ?

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I'm a medium-experienced amateur videographer wanting to get better. I'm
told I must turn off autofocus and autoexposure and see in various books
general advice on not zooming too much, the rule of thirds, manual white
balance, etc. But I haven't been able to find any book for digital
videographers like I've seen for film that talks about technical details
such as measuring light, depth of field, how to set focus/exposure, etc. for
conditions XYZ, camera filters (in particular for example, in outdoor shots
the bright sky dominates the shot obscuring the subject- I'm told there is a
graduated density filter to fix this but I have NEVER seen a book specially
for videography as opposed to film that discusses this or using a light
meter, etc. like I've seen in film cinematography books.
Can anybody tell me of any sources- DVD training courses, books,
websites, etc.- that can teach me this short of basics, rather than just
trial and error ? Not so much ideas on camera movement, but lighting,
exposure, controlling depth of field,etc?
Thanks for any suggestions. In particular, for example, why are light
meters never mentioned in digital video but are always mentioned in film
books ?

Bob

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Post by bcarwell
I'm a medium-experienced amateur videographer wanting to get better. I'm
told I must turn off autofocus and autoexposure and see in various books
general advice on not zooming too much, the rule of thirds, manual white
balance, etc. But I haven't been able to find any book for digital
videographers like I've seen for film that talks about technical details
such as measuring light, depth of field, how to set focus/exposure, etc. for
conditions XYZ, camera filters (in particular for example, in outdoor shots
the bright sky dominates the shot obscuring the subject- I'm told there is a
graduated density filter to fix this but I have NEVER seen a book specially
for videography as opposed to film that discusses this or using a light
meter, etc. like I've seen in film cinematography books.
Can anybody tell me of any sources- DVD training courses, books,
websites, etc.- that can teach me this short of basics, rather than just
trial and error ? Not so much ideas on camera movement, but lighting,
exposure, controlling depth of field,etc?
Thanks for any suggestions. In particular, for example, why are light
meters never mentioned in digital video but are always mentioned in film
books ?
Bob

The imaging characteristics of every camcorder *model*, let alone brand
are so different that little can be said that would be universally applicable
for amateur-level cameras (which offer little real control over picture
characteristics, anyway). With some, you can control WB, color-bias,
auto-exposure bias, etc., but have no control over contrast, white and
black levels, etc. - and with most, shifting exposure manually during taping
results in ugly incremental exposure jumps. Hand meters don't work well
since there are often five variables: aperture, aperture-shifting with FL-change,
shutter-speed, gain, light-level, and sensitivity of the particular camera;
hand meters can only handle some of these easily. As for lighting, any
good book on lighting for photography or film can help - and the preview
(poor as it may be) that you get with the viewfinder(s) can help (especially
with familiarity with the short-comings). Few filters are useful: a UV for lens
protection, a polarizer for reflection-suppression and color-enhancement
(under appropriate circumstances). Some like diffusers, but I detest them...;-)
Best: buy the camcorder with the best possible imaging characteristics for
your purposes, and learn to use it to optimize its strengths while minimizing
its weaknesses... (BTW, you may find this interesting, for Mini-DV:
www.ferrario.com/ruether/vid_pict_characts.htm). Good books on
film-making should serve for the basics of editing, story-telling, etc. for
video...

--
David Ruether
***@cornell.edu
http://www.ferrario.com/ruether

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Actuall, there is a book specifically addressing this, I have a copy, it's by
Dan Ablan, the Lightwave 3-d expert. go to amazon and look up:
digital cinematography & editing, by dan Ablan, New Riders, $45
www.newriders.com

isbn 0-7357-1258-1

I found it to be a little on the basic side, but still useful, especially to
animators who want their work to mesh well when composited with real world
footage.

Permalink

Post by bcarwell
Thanks for any suggestions. In particular, for example, why are light
meters never mentioned in digital video but are always mentioned in film
books ?

Because they are only useful to pre-set lighting. Anyway, try the book
written by Blain Brown. Something with Digital Cinematography in the
title and publised by Focal Press (search a bity on Amazon and you'll
find it).

cheers

-martin-

--
filmmaker/DP/editor,
Sydney, Australia

Proud member of the "Spoonman" post-production team :)

(Video) Top 10 Books on Cinematography and Filmmaking

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This is a no-nonsense book.
Highly recommended.

Lighting for Digital Video & Television by John Jackman

Juani

Post by Martin Heffels

Post by bcarwell
Thanks for any suggestions. In particular, for example, why are light
meters never mentioned in digital video but are always mentioned in film
books ?

Because they are only useful to pre-set lighting. Anyway, try the book
written by Blain Brown. Something with Digital Cinematography in the
title and publised by Focal Press (search a bity on Amazon and you'll
find it).
cheers
-martin-
--
filmmaker/DP/editor,
Sydney, Australia
Proud member of the "Spoonman" post-production team :)

Permalink

(Video) Tarantino criticizes Roger Deakins & Digital Cinematography

Ditto on the Jackman book.

John

Post by Juan Parra
This is a no-nonsense book.
Highly recommended.
Lighting for Digital Video & Television by John Jackman
Juani

Post by Martin Heffels

Post by bcarwell
Thanks for any suggestions. In particular, for example, why are light
meters never mentioned in digital video but are always mentioned in film
books ?

Because they are only useful to pre-set lighting. Anyway, try the book
written by Blain Brown. Something with Digital Cinematography in the
title and publised by Focal Press (search a bity on Amazon and you'll
find it).
cheers
-martin-
--
filmmaker/DP/editor,
Sydney, Australia
Proud member of the "Spoonman" post-production team :)

Permalink

Post by John Fitzpatrick
Ditto on the Jackman book.
John

Post by Juan Parra
This is a no-nonsense book.
Highly recommended.
Lighting for Digital Video & Television by John Jackman
Juani

Post by Martin Heffels

Post by bcarwell
Thanks for any suggestions. In particular, for example, why are

light

Post by Juan Parra

Post by Martin Heffels

Post by bcarwell
meters never mentioned in digital video but are always mentioned in

film

Post by Juan Parra

Post by Martin Heffels

Post by bcarwell
books ?

Because they are only useful to pre-set lighting. Anyway, try the book
written by Blain Brown. Something with Digital Cinematography in the
title and publised by Focal Press (search a bity on Amazon and you'll
find it).
cheers
-martin-
--
filmmaker/DP/editor,
Sydney, Australia
Proud member of the "Spoonman" post-production team :)

(Video) Full Sail Month 6 Digital Cinematography | Scriptwriting Techniques

Thank you all so much for taking the time for your prompt,
intelligent and clear advice and experience from this Robert Rodriguez
amateur wannabee. Just what I needed.

Bob

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Post by bob
Thank you all so much for taking the time for your prompt,
intelligent and clear advice and experience from this Robert Rodriguez
amateur wannabee. Just what I needed.

Ohoh, don't become another "digital is superior" zealot ;-)

cheers

-martin-

--
filmmaker/DP/editor,
Sydney, Australia

Proud member of the "Spoonman" post-production team :)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Give Wimoweh back to Solomon Linda's family!!!!

Permalink

Post by Martin Heffels

Post by bob
Thank you all so much for taking the time for your prompt,
intelligent and clear advice and experience from this Robert Rodriguez
amateur wannabee. Just what I needed.

Ohoh, don't become another "digital is superior" zealot ;-)
cheers
-martin-

Martin-
Not to worry. At my stage, lets just say digital is more accessible
and cost effective. As I understand it one of Robert's central
messages is just DO IT regardless of whether its 'real' film or
digital (although some accuse him of changing his tune on film vs.
video but in fairness to him forget that in the early 90's digital
hadn't come as far as today). I am aware of those who thought he was
misrepresenting that you just shoot one $7000 movie and you're famous,
when he was very clear that he made dozens and dozens of short
videotape movies to get some of his 'chops'. I'm just at the point
where I have a digital camera and computer NLE system, no money for
film or a film camera, and just want to play some making the best
shorts I can. Maybe film later... Thanks for the good-natured nudge.
I think both have something to offer. Ciao.
Bob

(Video) Full Sail University Digital Cinematography 2020: Project Launch Box

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Post by bob
As I understand it one of Robert's central
messages is just DO IT regardless of whether its 'real' film or
digital (although some accuse him of changing his tune on film vs.
video but in fairness to him forget that in the early 90's digital
hadn't come as far as today).

He has made some incredible remarks recently about digital being
superior to the chemistry. Anyway, you understood the nucleus of his
message well, which is indeed, just do it, and you don't need
everything big either.

Post by bob
I'm just at the point
where I have a digital camera and computer NLE system, no money for
film or a film camera, and just want to play some making the best
shorts I can.

Yar, that's the way to go Bob. Just start making films as good as
possible, so that you get a good understanding of composition and
directing, sound and editing. Later when you get more money, and more
resources to pull of something bigger, at least you got a solid base
to work from.

Good luck with your learning (and it's a hard and long wat to the top)

cheers

-martin-

--
filmmaker/DP/editor,
Sydney, Australia

Proud member of the "Spoonman" post-production team :)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Give Wimoweh back to Solomon Linda's family!!!!

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