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Video: Educational Tutorial on the History, Physics and Uses of Cinema Lighting


Back in April, we shared the first of cinematographer Mark Vargo‘s informative series of videos on different photographic concepts. The videos are meant to educate photographers and videographers alike on these concepts so that they might “unleash their creative potential.”

The first video was on the types and uses of light meters, and now Vargo has finally released the second video in the series, dubbed “Let There Be Light.”

As you can probably tell from the title, this video is all about lighting. Since he’s a cinematographer (and a highly successful one we might add) he focuses on cinema lighting, but the video holds useful tidbits for everybody — whether you shoot your photos at 24+ frames per second or not.


The video begins with Vargo introducing the history of cinema lighting, and how artificial light first came to be used in filmmaking. That section paves the way for some discussion on the physics of light and light fixtures, after which Vargo goes into some detail about specific cinema lights and how he’s used them in the past.

We suggest the photographers watching don’t discount that last part, you never know when you might need to use continuous light in a creative way to set a scene, and Vargo is a master at this.

Check out the video at the top to get all of the details, and if you haven’t already, be sure to watch part one of the series, “A Tale of Two Light Meters,” by following this link. You can find more of Vargo’s videos by visiting his Vimeo page.