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.
- AVP 100 Bundle: Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors (Volume 3) (2016)
- The Five C’s of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques (2005)
- Cinematography: Third Edition (2005)
- 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)
- The Filmmaker’s Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition (2010)
- Introduction to Cinematography: Learning Through Practice (2018)
- Capturing the Shot: Fundamentals, Tools, Techniques, and Workflows for Digital Cinematography (2013)
- Master Shots Vol 3: The Director’s Vision: 100 Setups, Scenes and Moves for Your Breakthrough Movie (2013)
- The Filmmaker’s Handbook, 2013 Edition (2012)
- How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro (2011)
AVP 100 Bundle: Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers and Directors (Volume 3) (2016)
The world of cinematography has changed more in the last few years than it has since it has in 1929, when sound recording was introduced. New technology, new tools and new methods have revolutionized the art and craft of telling stories visually. While some aspects of visual language, lighting and color are eternal, shooting methods, workflow and cameras have changed radically. Even experienced film artists have a need to update and review new methods and equipment.
The Five C’s of Cinematography: Motion Picture Filming Techniques (2005)
With 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.
Cinematography: Third Edition (2005)
Since 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.
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)
We 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.
The Filmmaker’s Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition (2010)
This 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.
Introduction to Cinematography: Learning Through Practice (2018)
Introduction 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.
Capturing the Shot: Fundamentals, Tools, Techniques, and Workflows for Digital Cinematography (2013)
With 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.
Master Shots Vol 3: The Director’s Vision: 100 Setups, Scenes and Moves for Your Breakthrough Movie (2013)
This 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.
The Filmmaker’s Handbook, 2013 Edition (2012)
Widely 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.
How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro (2011)
Newly 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.
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
Cinematography: Theory and Practice: For Cinematographers and Directors
Author(s): Blain Brown
ID: 3195974, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2021, Size: 144 Mb, Format: pdf
The Basics of Filmmaking: Screenwriting, Producing, Directing, Cinematography, Audio, & Editing
Author(s): Blain Brown
ID: 3255968, Publisher: Taylor and Francis, Year: 2020, Size: 12 Mb, Format: epub
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.