CINEMATOGRAPHY

"I can't think how anyone can become a director without learning the craft of cinematography."

~ Gus Van Sant

A curation of articles, podcasts, videos, and courses to help with your cinematography adventure.

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How do you fancy yourself?

Director of Photography  •  Cinematographer  •  Videographer  •  Gaffer

DOWNLOADS

A collection of FREE forms, templates, and questionnaires:

DSLR CINEMATOGRAPHY GUIDE

This is the FREE guide that built the juggernaut we've come to know as No Film School.

Download PDF

PROFESSIONAL LIGHT SOURCE GUIDE

Straight from one of the largest suppliers of film and video equipment, B&H provides this massive light source guide to see all that is available to the cinematographer.

Download PDF

POWER OF LIGHTING

One of the simplest and useful training guides on lighting comes from Power of Lighting.  Here is a collection of useful handbooks to keep with you on any set.

Download PDF

CINEMATOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES

VideoMaker Magazine offers this fun guide on cinematography techniques that any beginner can benefit from.

Download PDF

BOOKS

A collection of books on the art and craft of shooting film and video. (*These are affiliate links)

Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors

Cinematography: Theory and Practice covers both the artistry and craftsmanship of cinematography and visual storytelling. Few art forms are as tied to their tools and technology as is cinematography.

Buy on Amazon

The Filmmaker's Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition

This is the only book that combines conceptual and practical instruction on creating polished and eloquent images for film and video with the technical know-how to achieve them.

Buy on Amazon

How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro

How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck is a quick and easy guide that will make your video better instantly-- whether you read it cover to cover or just skim a few chapters.

Buy on Amazon

The Five C's of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques

With the aid of photographs and diagrams, this text concisely presents concepts and techniques of motion picture camerawork and the allied areas of film-making with which they interact with and impact. Included are discussions on: cinematic time and space; compositional rules; and types of editing.

Buy on Amazon

Lighting for Cinematography: A Practical Guide to the Art and Craft of Lighting for the Moving Image

Lighting for Cinematography, the first volume in the new CineTech Guides to the Film Crafts series, is the indispensable guide for film and video lighting.

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GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking

WHERE INSPIRATION MEETS TECHNICAL CRAFT, this guide to professional filmmaking with a GoPro is packed with hundreds of beautiful photos and interactive links to videos created by professional athletes, filmmakers, and inspired GoPro users around the world.

Buy on Amazon

Hollywood Lighting from the Silent Era to Film Noir

Film is an art of light, but the art of Hollywood lighting remains so subtle that it usually escapes our attention ... light can sharpen our attention, shift our expectations, and shape our emotions.

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Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know

What the industry's most successful writers and directors have in common is that they have mastered the cinematic conventions specific to the medium.

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GEAR

A collection of gear and equipment to help you get started with your cinematography ventures on your micro-budgeted films.

Anamorphic Lens Adapter for iPhone

Attach this anamorphic lens to your iPhone, download the Filmic Pro app and shoot a feature film.  Yes, it's that simple.  Depending on what model iPhone or Android you have, you can even shoot 4K!

Go to Website

What was shot using this lens adapter and an iPhone?  Watch the trailer to "Tangerine".

Canon Rebel T6i Bundle

Canon Rebel T6i camera has similar specs to the Canon 7D.  This bundle comes with two solid lenses to get you started in shooting your micro-budgeted film.

Buy on Amazon

What was shot using the Canon 7D (same as T6i)?  Watch the trailer to "The Sound of My Voice".

Panasonic GH4 Bundle

Even though the newer GH5 is on the market, indie filmmakers can pick up the GH4 for much cheaper.  This bundle includes the Metabones Speedbooster for Canon EF lenses.

Buy on Amazon

What was shot using the GH4 (Actually a hacked GH2)?  Watch the trailer to "Upstream Color".

DJI Phantom P3-STANDARD Quadcopter Drone

Meet the Phantom 3 Standard: the most accessible intelligent flying camera ever built. Easy to fly and engineered to let everyone take to the sky.

Buy on Amazon

What was shot using the DJI Phantom P3-Standard Quadcopter Drone?  Take a flight over Italy!

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras - Fixed

The 50mm fixed lens emerged as a go-to lens for many indie film productions when the DSLR disrupted the industry.

Buy on Amazon

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

This lens is extremely useful, as it provides a wide range without completely distorting the image like fish-eyed lenses often do.

Buy on Amazon

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens

If you had to get only one lens, this may be it.  Grab wide shots with the 24mm, then quickly move in for close shots with the 50mm, and even compressed shots with the 70mm.

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Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens

If you can't afford the higher end lenses, then you'll need a lot more light to make these less expensive lens work.

Buy on Amazon

Velbon Videomate 638/F 3-Sec Heavy Duty Geared Tripod & Carrying Case

When using either the T6i or GH4, the cameras are small enough that you won't need a large tripod.  This assumes that you won't be adding rods for a matte box and follow focus setup.

Buy on Amazon

DIGIANT MP-3606 2-in-1 Professional Telescoping Camera Monopod 70" Removable Camera Tripod Balance Stand With Pan-Head

Many wedding videographers utilize monopods for capturing quick shots.  This could be used for a run-and-gun type shooting style for your film.

Buy on Amazon

Ikan DS1 Beholder Gimbal for DSLRs

If you need to keep your camera stable but want to move more fluidly, then invest in a gimbal system.

Buy on Amazon

Hoodman H-400 Hood for 3.5-Inch to 4.0-Inch LCD Screens

One of the benefits of using either the T6i or GH4 is the flipable LCD screen. Having one of these portable hoods to see your footage in the bright sun is extremely helpful.

Buy on Amazon

Green Screen Lighting Kit

It's crazy that you can purchase a complete lighting kit with a green screen for under $200!  The construction of the stands and lights may not be the best, so you'll have to take extra care at making sure you don't break anything, but it still works just fine.

Buy on Amazon

StudioPRO 600 S-600B Bi Color LED Photography Lighting Panel

The expansion of the LED lighting technology has made it easier for filmmakers to lug around portable kits to any location, especially when using the optional battery power.

Buy on Amazon

Portable LED light for DSLR's

Pickup one of these portable LED lights that attaches to the top of your DSLR camera for your run-and-gun type shooting.

Buy on Amazon

Sandbags

Be sure to stabilize your light stands with sandbags.  Buy play sand from a hardware store, place the sand in plastic Ziploc bags, then place that inside the canvas sandbags for easier travel.

Buy on Amazon

PODCASTS

A collection of podcasts and podcast episodes that cover different aspects of cinematography.

American Cinematographer

American Cinematographer magazine interviews cinematographers, directors and other key collaborators involved in creative process of bringing film and television projects to the screen.

Listen on iTunes

Wandering DP

The Wandering DP Podcast is the ultimate source for cinematography knowledge, news, and interviews. From one on one interviews with some of today's top directors of photography to educational components on how you can capture better images, it is your home for information on the art of digital cinematography.

Listen on iTunes

Modern Cinematographer

Modern Cinematographer is the podcast dedicated to the business behind cinematography. Hosted by Matt Workman the founder of Cinematography Database.

Listen on iTunes

Cinematography Podcast

The Cinematography Podcast is the program about the art, craft and philosophy of the moving image and the people who make it happen.

Listen on iTunes

VIDEOS

A collection of videos that will help you become a better cinematographer.

Bryan Krauss has amassed a collection of 30 videos on the topic cinematography basics.

Wolfcrow has assembled a very technical guide to cinematography with over 20 videos to learn from.

Indy Mogul offers this 10-part video series on lighting for film.

Cinematography Database offers a 16-part video series on advanced lighting techniques for film and video.

COURSES

A collection of online courses that you can take right now to help you get started with shooting better film and video. (*Affiliate links)

Description

You want to get better at shooting video, right?

This online Cinematography Course will teach you how to shoot beautiful videos with any camera.

This course is designed to teach you the ins and outs of professional cinematography - the art of making motion pictures. While there are plenty of video courses, it's hard to find a comprehensive course that teaches you everything you'd want to know about shooting video.

This is the course for you, taught by a professional Hollywood cinematographer.

  • Learn the basics of getting great shots with any camera
  • Use the manual settings on your camera to expose your shot properly
  • Learn how to use camera movement to get more impressive shots
  • Light your video sets with traditional filmmaking techniques and lighting setups
  • Become a professional director of photography (cinematographer) with tips on how to find work in the video/film industry
  • Make money shooting videos

Improve Your Video Creation with This Complete Course

Description
The Capturing Light 101: Cinematography Fundamentals Course is all about teaching you what you need to know to shoot better films immediately. The course covers topics such as:
  • Camera Features
  • Shutter Speed, Aperture, and Iso
  • Camera Movements
  • Lenses
  • Lighting Basics.

The course is taught in a clear and concise manner, getting straight to the point to get you out there filming. This course also comes with downloadable pdfs, charts, quizzes, and even an Ebook, as well as access to me through my virtual office hours. If you have been on the fence about getting into cinematography, or overwhelmed with it, let this course be the one that teaches you the fundamentals to help start your cinematography journey. The course will take approximately 1 hour to complete.

Who is the target audience?
  • The Capturing Light Course is meant for beginner students who aspire to become camera operators and cinematographers.
  • No prior camera or film experience is required.
  • This course is not for you if you are a seasoned or an experienced cinematographer

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In most cases, I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend within any of my blog posts, video blogs, and audio podcasts.

What does this mean?

If you purchase items through my links I will earn a commission.  You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.  This is the way a lot of bloggers make little bits of money.

So, if you feel incline to purchase any of the goods or services that I provide links to, then you can say to yourself, "Hey, I know that by using this affiliate link when making my purchase, it'll help Scott out."

This helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff. :)   Thank you, in advance for your support!