Be Inspired In 20 Minutes Or Less – Watch ‘Light and Shadow’ by Zacuto

Be Inspired In 20 Minutes Or Less – Watch ‘Light and Shadow’ by Zacuto

Sometimes it's useful to stop, take stock and just remember why it is we shoot what we do, and what we are trying to do with our work. With this in mind, and to stoke the fires of your inspiration, the filmmaking accessories manufacturer, Zacuto, recently released ‘Light & Shadow’, a wonderful 20 minute film by Steve Weiss which asks searching questions from some legendary American cinematographers. Whether you are a photographer or videographer, I guarantee you’ll be inspired and come away with some wonderful insights from this short film.

Although most of us are so pressured by time that taking even just 20 minutes of our day to watch a short film can feel like a significant commitment, there are just too many wonderful little insights, from too many great minds not to spend at least some time today watching 'Light & Shadow'. It doesn’t matter if you shoot stills or motion, we all aim to tell a story and convey emotion through our image making in some form or another, and this speaks directly the heart of what the film is all about.

The video can be found in 720p on Zacuto's website (click that link to take you there).

Some of the insights I took away:

1). Asking legendary cinematographers, 'What is cinematography?'

2). Asking them 'Where does talent come from?'

3). Hearing the comparison between telling a story with a single frame (photography) VS motion (film)

4). Finding out some of the films that inspired the cinematographers          

5). Hearing about the importance of developing your own perspective and way of seeing

As Zacuto puts it on their website:

“If you have only one takeaway from Light & Shadow, let it be a reminder that cinematography, like all art forms, is something that comes from within. The technical can be taught, and anyone can pick up a camera and learn how to operate it. To capture an emotion and move an audience through visual storytelling is what real artists are all about.”


If you are looking for a little inspiration, you could do a lot worse than check out Light & Shadow. Enjoy, and if you did take away anything positive, please feel free to let me know what it was in the comments section, I would love to know what you got from this wonderful little gem.

Via [Zacuto]

David Geffin's picture

David is a full time photographer, videographer and video editor based in New York City. Fashion, portraiture and street photography are his areas of focus. He enjoys stills and motion work in equal measure, with a firm belief that a strong photographic eye will continue to help inform and drive the world of motion work.

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I really needed this right now, thank you.

you're most welcome, glad you enjoyed it :)

Watching this gave me goosebumps. It made me smile.

It's a great, insightful little short isn't it? Glad you had such a strong emotional connection to it, that's awesome

A very good doc. Thanks for posting. Where was the monkey's credentials? (a joke - smile it's monday)

You're welcome JM :)

Some very nice, short docu-spiration right there. It is kind of infuriating, however (in a good way). Even though I know it's true, I hate that there isn't some sort of advice for being a better cinematographer beyond what can be taught in a technical sense. I have a hard time just going by my gut or emotion. I'd rather know that THIS method WILL work undoubtedly, and this is how you convey THIS, etc...

I wish I could turn my mind off sometimes. lol

i know what you mean - but this is where (i think) you start to straddle the 'capable-practitioner' and move into the 'true artist' band. I think that's why some of the guys in this doc say 'you're born with it' or, 'don't try and tell me to explain why i do it, it just feels right'.

This is where purely technical know-how gets you only so far and after that it's the result of how you see the world, your style, the way you want to tell your story, the artistic streak within etc....i know what you mean about it being infuriating, but that's why i like to try and find (and share) things like this because i figure if it inspires me to think differently, it might inspire someone else in some way too