Jun 08, 2018 Written by Harshit Cinematography Appreciation
Cinematography books! It's additionally incredible to have a bookshelf that inspires you to learn and to study. If you want to be a great cinematographer, you truly do need to research and educate yourself on this remarkable art.
The web abounds with a huge number of videos and articles on cinematography and lighting, but it is an impossible landscape to traverse in case you’re a newcomer.
Books have the advantage of ‘having material in one place’, by an experienced and skillful teacher, that you can refer to at any time.
What makes a good cinematography book?
The quantity of data – whatever the topic, lenses, lighting, meters, etc., it should cover the entire range of issues related with the topic.
The nature of data – good data comes from strong research. Great information can only come from experience. A decent book needs both.
A good teacher – It is one thing to know something, and yet another to be able to teach that to those who don’t share your knowledge or talents.
It’s just if a book on cinematography has all three ingredients that it merits a place here.
Keep in mind, cinematography is’t ‘which camera to buy’. It is the art of brewing aesthetics, composition, movement, exposure and lighting. You better guarantee your brew is tasty.
Some picks of cinematography books:
1 A Shot in the Dark - By Jay Holben
Lighting, it’s all about the lighting and this book takes us deep down into the theory of lighting and the contribution it has to film. A Shot in the Dark: A Creative Guide to Digital Video Lighting on (Almost) No Budget teaches us how to improve our amateur footage to that of a professional film production.
2 Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors - By Blain Brown
This book goes into the concepts and thought processes of being a cinematographer. Shooting with artistry, efficiently and professionally. This is a leading book in the field of cinematography that also goes into the more practical elements of equipment and technology.
3 Reflections: Twenty-One Cinematographers at Work - By Benjamin Bergery
A great read for some case studies of film lighting by some of the world’s leading cinematographers. The book includes lighting diagrams, reference images and shots from footage to accompany the case studies and highlight the content.
4 Painting with Light - By John Alton
John Alton is best known for his highly stylized film noir classics T-Men, He Walked by Night, and The Big Combo. During the early days of cinema, Alton earned a reputation as one of Hollywood’s consummate craftsmen through his visual signature of crisp shadows and sculpted beams of light.
5 Storaro: Writing with Light - By Vittorio Storaro
Three times Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro is surely one of the greatest cinematographers in history. Storaro shares his thoughts and insights into the world of cinematography and gives a comprehensive look at the art of film.