Higher Education

A Shot in the Dark: A Creative DIY Guide to Digital Video Lighting on (Almost) No Budget, 1st Edition

  • Jay Holben
  • ISBN-10: 143545863X  |  ISBN-13: 9781435458635
  • 256 Pages
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $33.75



The most significant contribution to film imagery is lighting. Lighting is the key to turning amateur footage into professional stories and presentation. A SHOT IN THE DARK: A CREATIVE DIY GUIDE TO DIGITAL VIDEO LIGHTING ON (ALMOST) NO BUDGET shows that good lighting doesn’t always require expensive or extensive Hollywood hardware. With a little creativity, ingenuity, and some elbow grease, you can create your own lighting arsenal to handle a multitude of situations. This book will show do-it-yourselfers how to create their own equipment and how best to use it. The first part of the book teaches you about the basics—the fundamentals of light, color, exposure, and electricity—that are the building blocks of lighting. You’ll discover what light is and how to control it. Once you have that foundation, the book will introduce tips, techniques, and hands-on projects that instruct you on how to create your own lighting tools from inexpensive, readily available resources. The only limit to what you can do is your imagination.

Features and Benefits

  • Offers easy-to-follow instructions on how to make your own lighting equipment for video.
  • Makes use of inexpensive, everyday tools and alternative lighting sources.
  • Perfect for those who are new to digital video or looking for a DIY option for tools and equipment.

Table of Contents

1. Basic Supplies.
2. The Fundamentals.
3. Understanding Exposure.
4. Understanding Electricity.
5. Light Quality.
6. Lighting Techniques.
7. Soft Boxes.
8. Tungsten Fixtures.
9. Fluorescent Fixtures.
10. LEDs.
11. Thinking Outside the Box.
12. Additional Accessories / Tools.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Jay Holben

Jay Holben began his career in theater, eventually becoming a master electrician and lighting designer before making the move to Hollywood first as an electrician, then as a gaffer, before advancing to become a director of photography. As a cinematographer, Holben shot commercials, music videos, documentaries, and feature films. In 1996 he started as a writer for "American Cinematographer Magazine," eventually rising to technical editor for the publication. He is currently the technical editor for "DV Magazine" and remains a contributing writer for "American Cinematographer" as well as "Videography magazine." Holben has also contributed to several other books including the "American Cinematographer Manual." He is now an independent producer/ director living in Los Angeles.