Book Reviews | “Lighting for Cinematography: A Practical Guide to the Art and Craft of Lighting for the Moving Image”

New Book on Lighting Written by David Landau

While there are some great books with interviews of big time cinematographers out there, there are few books immediately applicable to what beginning cinematographers are facing on limited budget shoots.

Lighting for Cinematography: A Practical Guide to the Art and Craft of Lighting for the Moving Image,” the first volume in the new Bloomsbury Press CineTech Guides to the Film Crafts, fills that void.  Written by veteran gaffer and cinematographer David Landau, the book helps the reader create lighting that supports the emotional moment of the scene, contributes to the atmosphere of the story and can augment an artistic style. Chapters cover such things as lighting for movement, working with windows, night lighting, lighting the three plains of action and non-fiction lighting. Every chapter includes stills, lighting diagrams and key advice from professionals in the field, as well as lighting exercises for the reader to put into practice. This how-to book addresses how filmmakers on a limited budget and time schedule can achieve professional looking images similar to what they see on the big screen. The book also has a website that includes a recent lighting news section featuring short articles on the latest lighting instruments and methods. The website can be found at

“A master class in cinematography! David Landau’s conversational tone mixed with 35 years of technical experience and aesthetic prowess results in a very accessible text that should be cherished by students and professionals alike… Landau’s multiple accounts from his work in the field give this book a much-appreciated practicality and voice of authority that is invaluable for the emerging cinematographer.”

-Harlan Bosmajian, IATSE local 600 Director of Photography, Assistant Professor of Cinematography, Emerson College, USA

“David Landau has produced an excellent text in Lighting for Cinematography which manages to cover the practicalities of production, the technical aspects of lighting and vitally the artistic importance of this work.  Constructed to appeal and be of value to the practitioner at all levels, I highly recommend [it] to all those interested in the technique and process of film making.”

-Robert Edgar, Senior Lecturer in Film and TV Production, York St John University, UK

“As a Cinematography teacher, I am always looking for textbooks and David Landau’s Lighting for Cinematography is the best resource I’ve come across. I think this book illuminates every aspect of lighting that I want to teach.”

-James W O”Keeffe, IATSE local 600 cinematographer, adjunct professor of cinematography, University of Southern California, USA. 

David Landau teaches lighting and cinematography at Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA, and travels nationwide giving lighting seminars. A five-time Telly Award winner for lighting and cinematography and a member of IATSE local 52, the University Film & Video Association and Media Communications Association International, Landau continues to work in the lighting industry, shooting indie features and corporate videos, designing lights for theatre and working as one of the gaffers on the TV series Project Runway.