Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors

Amazon Price: $56.95 $49.79 You save: $7.16 (13%). (as of February 2, 2017 11:31 AM – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

There's more to being a DP than holding a light meter! With this book as your guide, you are on your way to learning not only about the equipment and technology, but also about the concepts and thought processes that will enable you to shoot professionally, efficiently, and with artistic mastery. A leading book in the field, Cinematography has been translated into many languages and is a staple at the world's top film schools. Lavishly produced and illustrated, it covers the entire range of the profession. The book is not just a comprehensive guide to current professional practice; it goes beyond to explain the theory behind the practice, so you understand how the rules came about and when it's appropriate to break them. In addition, directors will benefit from the book's focus on the body of knowledge they should share with their Director of Photography.
Cinematography presents the basics and beyond, employing clear explanations of standard practice together with substantial illustrations and diagrams to reveal the real world of film production.
Recognizing that professionals know when to break the rules and when to abide by them, this book discusses many examples of fresh ideas and experiments in cinematography. Covering the most up-to-date information on the film/digital interface, new formats, the latest cranes and camera support and other equipment, it also illustrates the classic tried and true methods.
New! A DVD and website features hours of video footage, offering key instruction in topics such as camera basics and essentials, lighting, shooting methods, and much more.
Topics include:

. Concepts of filmmaking
. Language of the lens
. Cinematic continuity
. Lighting for film, digital, and HD
. Exposure
. HD cinematography and shooting
. Shooting in HD
. Image control and filters
. Bleach bypass processes
. Lighting as storytelling
. Shooting special effects
. Set procedures and other issues
The DVD files are also available at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (July 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240812093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240812090
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds

Customer Reviews


98 people found this helpful.
 on October 15, 2003
I bought this book because of the glowing review it received in American Cinematographer and then soon after it was the requred book for my cinematography course at USC Film School. I have dozens of books about cinematography, and this is the only one I’ve ever seen that covers every aspect of cinematography.

Excellent overall cinematography book

70 people found this helpful.
 on March 1, 2005
By D. Rahmel
When I first read this book, I already knew quite a bit about cinematography. This book filled in a large number of gaps in my knowledge. It did a rare thing for a cinematography book – it provided information on the actual lights that are used to create cinematic magic (HMIs, Fresnel lenses, PARs, etc.).

A comprehensive, professional view of cinematography

65 people found this helpful.
 on December 10, 2005
By Brian M
I was working on a camera crew with a recent AFI grad and she told me this book is “the bible” at AFI, then a fellow I know at USC grad school had it as a required book in his cinematography class so I checked it out.

Best of the bunch

55 people found this helpful.
 on December 21, 2005
By cinepro
I have read most of the books Amazon sells about cinematography and there is not question in my mind that this is the best of all of them. It’s really comprehensive and covers all sides of camerawork, both technical things like lens and color and exposure etc, but also composition (which he calls visual language) and maintaining continuity, coverage and what he calls “the language of the lens.”

Why wasn’t this around when I was in film school!?

43 people found this helpful.
 on September 26, 2011
By Garvinstomp
Having been to film school and working in the entertainment industry as first a cameraman and now a director, this book isn’t something for me to read as enjoyment or a hobby (although it is a fun read); this is something that could directly affect my livelihood. So it was with a very critical eye that I read through this second edition of CINEMATOGRAPHY. Since leaving film school I’ve read just about every book on cinematography available. The first issue with books like this is that there is no set rule as to what a book on cinematography should cover. Some will discuss theories, some will talk about physical lighting setups, while others are a collection of thoughts from cinematographers with little-to-no pictures. This book, hands down, is the most complete single source for learning about the art and practice of cinematography.

Thorough and professional

55 people found this helpful.
 on December 17, 2002
By Amazon Customer
I’ve got a whole shelf full of books about cinematography, lighting and filmmaking. Most of them claim to be “thorough” and “professional” but very few of them actually are. This one really is. It covers pretty much everything that you need to know to be a professional cinematography – and that’s a lot.

Very informative

32 people found this helpful.
 on September 30, 2005
By adventurousjess
I found this book to be great. As a university film student I loved this book because it clearly explains all the aspects of film, the camera and lighting (the most important aspect!). I recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick crash course on cinematography.

Well written, Great Book for the Beginner or Pro

31 people found this helpful.
 on September 30, 2003
By James Batzer
As an amateur film maker I have found this to be very well written and easy to understand. I also can see why an experienced film maker would benefit from this book.

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