Book Gives Helpful Review of Lighting Basics

Basics of Video Lighting

Des Lyver & Graham Swainson (1999 Focal Press, 225 Wildwood Avenue, Woburn, MA 01801-2041, 149 pp., $20)

Proper lighting is essential for quality video. The Basics of Video Lighting is just what its name implies: an introduction to lighting tools and techniques.

The authors avoid confusing technical jargon and clearly lay out the essential principals of lighting for video. While there is not a great deal of technical information, readers will be pleased to find practical tips and techniques galore.


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The authors have written this book with the one-person video crew in mind, suggesting techniques for lighting with a single lamp, a three-light kit, or a complete studio lighting setup. Readers will also learn handy techniques for lighting outside using reflectors and diffusors, how to use gels for color correction and special effects, and the art of tailoring the quality of a lighting set up to suit a scene. This is a good book for beginning to intermediate video lighters.

Video Projects for Elementary and Middle Schools

Keith Kyker & Christopher Curchy (1995 Libraries Unlimited Inc., P.O. Box 6633, Englewood, CO 80155-6633, 121 pp., $23)

If you’re a teacher of first through ninth graders, this book might be a good resource for video production ideas for the classroom. Authors Kyker and Curchy provide 25 video projects that kids can produce to enhance their learning experience. The projects have been divided into a variety of categories including: Social Development, Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, Math, Safety and Health, Physical Education, Art, and School and Community.

The authors provide a complete lesson plan for every project. Each plan identifies an objective, lists equipment needed, and lays out a procedure for completing each production.

This is not a video curriculum. It does not teach camcorder, lighting or editing techniques. It’s intended, instead, to enhance learning by providing teachers of any subject with ideas for videos.

Apple Final Cut Pro Power Start CD-ROM

Straight Scoop Enterprises (1999, Straight Scoop Enterprises,, 800 965-3976; $60)

If you bought Apple’s G3 with Final Cut Pro to begin nonlinear editing, but don’t know how to begin using the program, this CD-ROM is for you. Straight Scoop Enterprises has put together this handy tutorial to walk new users through the entire process of editing with Final Cut Pro.

The disk is easy to navigate and the presentation is easy on the eye. While not intended to replace the FCP owners manual, this disk introduces beginners to virtually everything they need to capture, edit and output a project to tape.

The disk also includes some helpful Internet resources like links to various Web sites that include FAQs, hints and tips, mail lists and a FCP discussion group.

While the disk does not contain secret tips and tricks that advanced Final Cut editors may long for, it provides a valuable overview of operations to get the beginner up and running.

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.