Capturing Light 101: Cinematography Fundamentals

Learn how to capturing beautiful images through cinematography tips, tools, and techniques.
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  • Lectures 17
  • Length 38 mins
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

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.

What are the requirements?

  • Having access to a camera and lighting is recommended but not required for the course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn camera basics and settings
  • Learn camera movement to elevate production value
  • Learn lens properties and how choose the right lens for your projects
  • Learn basic lighting concepts and techniques

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

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Capturing Light 101: A Guide To Visual Storytelling "The Introduction"

Welcome, I'm so excited to teach you The Capturing Light 101 Course: A Guide To Visual Storytelling. I look forward to teaching you the fundamentals to capturing great images through cameras, lensing, and lighting. I've included an E-Book that I specifically created for this course. Be sure to check the resources tabs for helpful downloadable charts and supporting links.


A cinematographer is a visual storyteller. They communicate with the use of a camera, light, and shadows. Learn what it means to be a cinematographer in this lecture and leave feeling inspired.

Section 2: Camera

Camera sensors are a very important part of the camera. Learn the affects of the camera sensor on lens choices.


Watch how three different cameras handle low light differently. The Mini Ursa's base ISO is 400. The Canon 7D's base ISO is 160. The Sony A7s' base ISO is 3200. The base ISO is the ISO that will give the best dynamic range the camera can offer, assuming the lighting and exposure is adequate.


Understanding ISO controls the look of your footage. It's like your digital negative. Learn in this course how each setting affects your final image.


Aperture is defined as a space through which light passes in an optical or photographic instrument. So your camera’s iris is just like the iris in your eye. Watch how the aperture can affect your image in this lecture.


Shutter speed is the measurement of time that a camera’s shutter opens and closes. To help myself remember this concept, I picture the actual shutter, opening and closing with light blasting through it. Watch how the shutter speed affects motion blur in this lecture.

Camera Basics Quiz
7 questions
Section 3: Camera Movement

Camera movement is a great way to add excitement to your story. Learn the terminology used on set and communicate your vision more effectively with these camera moves.


Film composition adds visual interest to your story. In this section, we cover the fundamentals to help you think about composing better shots in your films.

Camera Movement Quiz
5 questions
Section 4: Lenses

Focal lengths determine what the frame is and ultimately what the audience sees. Learn how lens choice affects your film composition.


There are specific pros and cons to all types of lenses. Learn when prime lenses and zoom lenses should be used.

Lens Basics Quiz
7 questions
Section 5: Lighting

I believe you should always start with you key light. The keylight is usually the most important light in your composition. It is the light that illuminates your actor’s face and brings out the emotion of a scene.


Background light is totally different from Backlight. Learn in this lecture the differences and use this knowledge to your advantage on film sets.


Proper camera white balance has to take into account the “color temperature” of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. Color temperature is the measurement of the color of a light source. It is measured in Kelvin (K). The reason we adjust white balance is to get the colors in your images as accurate as possible.


When trying to set a particular mood in film, the quantity and quality of light and the ability to modify light is what will establish the mood and style that you are trying to achieve.

Lighting Basics Quiz
4 questions
Section 6: Final Thoughts

So we've gotten to the end of the course. Make sure to check out the resources tab for links on how you can reach me, your copy of the ebook, and how you can stay connected with other students.


In this bonus lecture I will cover a quick scene breakdown from my first feature film that I shot.

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Instructor Biography

Les Gaddis, Director of Photography

I have over 16 years experience in videography and have spent the last five years further developing my skills as a Director of Photographer. My passion is working with a concept or script with the Director's vision and adding layers of visual imagery to bring the story to life.

I'm a studious storyteller, my craft is cinematography. I have completed 2 feature films, 20 short films, 13 music videos, 17 commercials and promotional videos, worked on 3 TV shows and covered over 500 events.

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