tungsten color

anonymous asked:

If can go in depth a little but what would you say you need to know to be a really good cinematographer? How much of the technical jargon do you need to know? What about books about cinematography what do you recommend ? Thanks

This has been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks because I wanted to give you an in-depth answer, so here ya go:

You need to know as much as you possibly can about every camera system and format that is available to you. You need to understand the strengths and limitations of each format so you are able to confidently make decisions about which camera is appropriate for your film and shooting situation.

You need to know how exposure works. You must understand shutter angle, aperture, and ASA. You should know what each of these does within the camera, what it does to your image, how you have to compensate by alternating any of these, and how you can creatively control each of these to your advantage. 

You need to understand everything about lenses. You should know the characteristics of different sets of lenses so you can choose which to use to your creative advantage. You need to understand focal lengths and the effect that different focal lengths have on faces as well as environment. You need to understand aperture so you can chose a set of lenses that is appropriate to the amount of light you will have access to, as well as making sure your lenses have the same t-stop so that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot when switching lenses and realize one is a t/2.1 and another is a t/4.

You need to understand filtration and how you can use different types to create the images you want. There is all kinds of filtration so I won’t go in depth with it, but at least know ND and BPM and the increments in which these are measured.

It’s important to understand different types of lighting and the feeling that each of them can create. Know the different types of lights you’ll need to create different looks. Know the difference between Fresnels and HMIs and the situations in which you’d use these. Know the difference between daylight and tungsten color temperatures and consider when they would be used. You can, and will, spend your entire life studying and understanding light. These are things you’ll learn over time, but lighting is the art of cinematography.

The more about your tools that you understand, the better a cinematographer you will be. The less you know, the less control you have over your image.

Some great books to read for cinematographers:
Cinematography for Directors by Jacqueline Frost
Cinematography: Theory and Practice by Blain Brown
Motion Picture and Video Lighting by Blain Brown
Digital Cinematography by David Stump
The Five C’s of Cinematography by Joseph Mascelli
Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook by Harry Box
The Filmmaker’s Eye by Gustavo Mercado
The Visual Story by Bruce Block
Notes on Cinematographie by Robert Bresson (more about filmmaking in general than cinematography, but a delightful read)

I hope this was helpful.