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Best Cinematography Books Worth Your Attention

While there are many courses and tutorials online, learning from a book is still one of the best ways to greatly improve your skills. Below I have selected top Cinematography books.

The Five C’s of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques (2005)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionWith the aid of photographs and diagrams, this text concisely presents concepts and techniques of motion picture camerawork and the allied areas of film-making with which they interact with and impact. Included are discussions on: cinematic time and space; compositional rules; and types of editing.
Author(s): Joseph V Mascelli

Cinematography: Third Edition (2005)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionSince its initial publication in 1973, Cinematography has become the guidebook for filmmakers. Based on their combined fifty years in the film and television industry, authors Kris Malkiewicz and M. David Mullen lay clear and concise groundwork for basic film techniques, focusing squarely on the cameraman’s craft. Readers will then learn step-by-step how to master more advanced techniques in postproduction, digital editing, and overall film production.
Author(s): Kris Malkiewicz, Mullen ASC, M. David

Lighting for Cinematography: A Practical Guide to the Art and Craft of Lighting for the Moving Image (The CineTech Guides to the Film Crafts) (2014)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionWe can’t shoot good pictures without good lighting, no matter how good the newest cameras are. Shooting under available light gives exposure, but lacks depth, contrast, contour, atmosphere and often separation. The story could be the greatest in the world, but if the lighting is poor viewers will assume it’s amateurish and not take it seriously. Feature films and TV shows, commercials and industrial videos, reality TV and documentaries, even event and wedding videos tell stories.
Author(s): David Landau

The Filmmaker’s Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition (2010)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionThis is the only book that combines conceptual and practical instruction on creating polished and eloquent images for film and video with the technical know-how to achieve them. Loaded with hundreds of full-color examples, The Filmmaker’s Eye is a focused, easy-to-reference guide that shows you how to become a strong visual storyteller through smart, effective choices for your shots.
Author(s): Gustavo Mercado

Introduction to Cinematography: Learning Through Practice (2018)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionIntroduction to Cinematography offers a practical, stage-by-stage guide to the creative and technical foundations of cinematography. Building from a skills-based approach focused on professional practice, cinematographer and author Tania Hoser provides a step-by-step introduction for both cinematographers and camera assistants to the techniques, processes, and procedures of working with cameras, lenses, and light.
Author(s): Tania Hoser

Capturing the Shot: Fundamentals, Tools, Techniques, and Workflows for Digital Cinematography (2013)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionWith the shift from film to digital, a new view of the future of cinematography has emerged. Today’s successful cinematographer must be equal parts artist, technician, and business-person.
Author(s): David Stump

Master Shots Vol 3: The Director’s Vision: 100 Setups, Scenes and Moves for Your Breakthrough Movie (2013)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionThis book is a highly visual exploration of the best shots, moves, and set-ups in the industry. It reveals the secrets behind each shot’s success, so it can be adapted to a director’s individual scenes.Your job is to create shots that reveal story, expose emotion, explore character and capture the unique feeling of your film. At the same time, you should stamp your film with your own style.
Author(s): Christopher Kenworthy

The Filmmaker’s Handbook, 2013 Edition (2012)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionWidely acknowledged as the “bible” of video and film production, and used in courses around the world, The Filmmaker’s Handbook is now updated with the latest advances in HD and new digital formats.
Author(s): Steven Ascher, Edward Pincus

How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro (2011)

 Best Cinematography Books Worth Your AttentionNewly updated and revised, How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck is a quick and easy guide that will make your video better instantly—whether you read it cover to cover or just skim a few chapters.
Author(s): Steve Stockman

Best Cinematography Books Worth Your Attention

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some cinematography books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Digital Cinematography: Fundamentals, Tools, Techniques, and Workflows

Author(s): David Stump ASC
ID: 3072050, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2021, Size: 4 Mb, Format: pdf

Introduction to Cinematography: Learning Through Practice

Author(s): Tania Hoser
ID: 2553036, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2018, Size: 211 Mb, Format: pdf

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

Author(s): Blain Brown
ID: 2221629, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2016, Size: 35 Mb, Format: azw3

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are truly hot items according to Los Angeles Times, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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