Are you on Instagram? Yes? Do you want to learn more about good lighting and technology used to create beautiful images? Of course you do. Go follow the ASC.
The ASC is the American Society of Cinematographers, a group comprised of some of the most accomplished and knowledgeable cinematographers alive today. Fortunately, they are keen on sharing their knowledge and experience through their Instagram page.
Every few weeks a different member of the ASC will take over the Instagram. In that duration they share everything from set photos with lighting explanations to more gear focused posts explaining the advantages and disadvantages of certain equipment. There is also a lot of history to be seen as many members that take over their account have been working in the industry for decades. One of my favorite hosts was James Neihouse, ASC who has worked with IMAX and large format cinematography since the days of film. He shared some amazing images of old, massive IMAX cameras being used for everything from filming NASCAR to space shuttle launches.
Often there are cinematographers of many well-known films that take over the account and give a wonderful behind-the-scenes peek at how they light scenes for big movies like “The Hunger Games” or music videos for some of today’s most popular musicians. And while I’m not a big budget cinematographer myself, there have been many takeaways that have improved my lighting and my approach to my work after having spent some time combing through all of these posts.
You will quickly notice that while it seems the ASC appreciates good gear as much as the rest of us, the ideology of a good cinematographer is more rooted in a good understanding light and an understanding of how best to benefit the project at hand. Like any writer or director, cinematographers are storytellers, and that is driven home through their work time and time again.
If you have a spare half hour or more, I would highly recommend you take the time to delve into the archive of the ASC Instagram and you may learn a thing or two.