2nd Edition

Shaping Light for Video in the Age of LEDs A Practical Guide to the Art and Craft of Lighting

By Alan Steinheimer Copyright 2021
    312 Pages 220 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    312 Pages 220 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A practical, hands-on guide to lighting for video, this book explores how LEDs are changing the aesthetics of lighting and provides students with an indispensable guide to the everyday techniques required to produce professional-quality lighting in the age of LEDs and wireless control options.

    The book focuses on first-hand application of technical knowledge, beginning with simple lighting setups and progressing to more complicated scenarios, and features accompanying diagrams, illustrations and case studies to demonstrate their real-world application. Key topics covered include basic three-point lighting, lighting moving actors, set lighting and exposure, instrument selection, bringing style to your lighting, color temperature and the Kelvin scale, exterior lighting, lighting categories and genres, green-screen techniques, money and budgeting, and electricity and electrical distribution. The book also provides guidance on career paths including what a grip does, case studies with photos and diagrams, and an extensive glossary of set terminology to introduce students to the language of filmmaking.

    A must-have resource for film and media production students taking classes in lighting and/or cinematography.

    Introduction; Acknowledgements; Chapter 1 Why we light; Chapter 2 Lighting basics; Chapter 3 Grip equipment basics; Chapter 4 Electricity; Chapter 5 Exposure and compression; Chapter 6 Color temperature, the Kelvin scale, and gels; Chapter 7 Refining portrait lighting and cross keying; Chapter 8 Planning for motion on set; Chapter 9 Background lighting; Chapter 10 Choice of lights: 3200K and Kino Flos; Chapter 11 LED lights; Chapter 12 HMIs; Chapter 13 DMX and controlling lights; Chapter 14 Green and blue screen; Chapter 15 Daytime exterior lighting; Chapter 16 Nighttime exteriors; Chapter 17 Types and genres of lighting; Chapter 18 Advanced electrical; Chapter 19 Generators; Chapter 20 Advanced gripping; Chapter 21 Introducing style to lighting; Chapter 22 Set safety; Chapter 23 Money vs. aesthetics; Chapter 24 Freelancing; Case studies #1-5; Glossary and set Vocabulary; Index


    Alan Steinheimer has 30 plus years of filmmaking experience, with 25 years of lighting as a gaffer and lighting director in San Francisco Bay Area. His resume includes feature films such as The Darwin Awards, documentary and corporate work, commercials, and music videos such as Britney Spears’ Oops, I Did it Again. He appears regularly as a guest expert in the Meet the Gaffer series on YouTube.

    'Alan Steinheimer's book is simply the best book available about lighting; it can be read cover-to-cover or as a handbook, carried from job to job. It is a wonderful exploration of both the practical and the esthetic issues in lighting. In today's world, grip equipment is an essential component of lighting itself, and Alan explores the equipment and techniques of grip gear extensively including my personal favorite: tying knots. This is an essential book; it can be useful for cinematographers, lighting techs, and grips.'

    Stephen Lighthill, ASC, President, American Society Of Cinematographers, Discipline Head: Cinematography/AFI Conservatory

    'You might find yourself stumbling your way towards a career in film, and even though you fancied yourself the next Spielberg or Tarantino, the bills kept coming so you were happy to take whatever people were willing to pay you to do. Whether it’s working your way up the G&E ladder or doing your time in the camera department, eventually you’ll want to call a few more shots than when you’re asked to take the group photo at the family reunion because "you know this stuff." Taking off as an owner/operator, whether a camera person or a fledgling gaffer with some gear, you need to hear from a seasoned mentor who will talk candidly about the ins and outs, the highs and lows, the red flags and the sweet spots of production. I’ve known Alan for the majority of my 30 plus years in this business and I can’t think of a better person for you to hang out with to learn the large picture fundamentals and the more nerdy, fine tuned aspects of what we do as lighting professionals. He’s not only smart, and thoughtful, but very willing to share all his tips and tricks... with you! Don’t pass this up. Enjoy.'

    Luke Seerveld Host of Meet The Gaffer on YouTube

    Praise for the Previous Edition:

     "Motion picture lighting is an art. This book will teach you how to play the instruments in an immensely informative and thorough way. In the 30 years since we first worked together, Alan has become a master of light. He has always been the first to embrace new lighting tools and techniques. His wide range of experience through Hollywood features, TV movies, commercials, music and corporate videos of many styles lends depth to his keen observations. This book, like his work, is meticulous, extensive, precise, a luscious read and should be in any cinema student, scholar and technician’s library."

    David Claessen, Director of Photography