Lighting for Cinematography

A Practical guild to the art and craft of lighting for the moving image

By David Landau


Table of Contents


Introduction: No matter how good a camera, good lighting is what sells the picture 


Chapter 1: The Magic of Light – What lighting does and what we can make it do 


Chapter 2: Who and What makes light -  the lighting crew, lighting units and basic electricity


Chapter 3: Lighting the Subject - motivated light source and three point lighting


Chapter  4: Light the shot, not just the subject – more than three lights, three planes of lighting


Chapter 5: Common Practical Lighting set-ups - cross key, chicken coop, china ball, bathrooms 


Chapter 6: Lighting for Movement – subject and camera moves,  hallways, stairways, ambient soft light


Chapter 7: Dealing with Daylight 1 - Shooting Exteriors


Chapter 8: Dealing with Daylight 2 - Working with windows


Chapter 9: Night Light - lighting night exteriors & interiors


Chapter 10: Working with Color - using color for mood, gels


Chapter 11: Light the scene, not just the shot – High Key, Low Key, contrast ratios, exposure choice, Chiaroscuro lighting, Rembrandt lighting and Butterfly lighting


Chapter 12: Special Lighting Considerations & Effects– fire, water, rain, fog, lightning, poor man’s process shot, green screen, product shots


Chapter 13: Lighting Non-fiction - Interview, Corporate, News Magazine, Documentary, Reality  


Chapter 14: Inspiration and Lighting Looks


Appendix 1: Advice from the Field – interviews with cinematographers and gaffers


Appendix 2: Resource – apps, magazines,books, websites, lighting equipment manufacturers

click to browse inside book


David Landau is available for lighting workshops, seminars, guest lectures and demonstrations

A Practical Guide to the Art and Craft of Lighting for the Moving Image To purchase from amazon, click here

271 pages,

96 color photos,

29 diagrams,

14 chapters,

Lighting exercises,

Interviews with professional cinematographers and gaffers,


Resource appendix,

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© David Landau