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"Non-digital" Cinematography Books


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#1 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 01:12 PM

I want to get myself a bible or two for the basics of my religion, which requires me to abstain from all ones and zeros.  And each book I find generaly useful is almost equally clunky due to the inclusion of all this digital converage, which I find to be cumbersome. 

 

What (presumably older) books would anyone suggest for me that would be the equivalent of an all film ACM?  Or what edition does the American Cinematographer Manual start leaning heavily digital? 

 

And if you have any to sell cheaply, old editions etc that meet this criteria, I'd love to learn from them. 

 

I would like to focus on the old ways.  The honest truth is I'm very much a process-lover.  And I can't really separate the two parts of image-making that film offers (the marriage of the mechanical with light...that dichotomy is very beautiful, and is all too quickly becoming the sacrificial lamb to the dagger of necessity and horse-blinders of convenience). 

 

The idea of a sampling device imparting itself as a medium is the entire core of a beautiful analogy of what truly (to me) constitutes all those over-used adjectives like "painterly", in which the camera not only in fact imparts a "brush stroke", but it does in fact become another kind of medium itself, an extension of the artists arms and eyes, like a translator between worlds.  The ethereal emotive qualities of the minds perception of imagery in day to day life and the cold, hard truth of the "light that's there" can speak the same language with a channel like that.  Because of it's blending of qualities.  Nothing can poetically ramdomize itself the same way film grain and imaging does, which goes a long way for me as you can probably tell!  Bla blah blah. I am sorry, but when I get this deep into it, the thing requires a little depth of explanation to properly convey itself. 

 

What's strange is that I don't mind the delivery on digital.  But I just feel like it needs to be properly captured in a way that imparts a poeticism that mingles not only the best aspects of the lenses on a human eye as a recorder, but also the human heart and soul, and the entire processing of those signals through flesh in a very human way.  Film offers an elegance that is unparalleled in my opinion when it comes to the analogous representation of such potent and beautiful processes that naturally inspire us daily, and in fact inform our live daily.  What better process could you pick to inform others?  This is why I cringe at the lunging and racing to the bottom in terms of technological processes and their coverage.  Well, to me it's the bottom.  Because it isn't the direction I'm headed in. 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 01:20 PM

Well, to its fault or credit, the 3rd Edition of "Cinematography" that I co-wrote with Kris Malkiewicz ten years ago doesn't deal with digital cameras.

 

I also recommend interview books with cinematographers, they are less likely to get bogged down with digital technology issues.


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#3 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 01:30 PM

Added to cart...

 

Thanks for that.  Also, I apologize for starting this thread outside the "Books for Cinematographers" area.  I hope the moderator can usher it home...


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#4 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 02:40 PM

"Masters of Light" was published in 1984, and has some heavyweights of cinematography in it. I reference mine all the time. They came out with a 2nd Edition last year, but you could probably but the old one for a buck or two. 


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#5 John E Clark

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 02:43 PM

I have recent version of Kris Malkiewicz's "Film lighting", but I'm not home to see if it has any seapage of 'things digital'...


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#6 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 03:50 PM

Well, to its fault or credit, the 3rd Edition of "Cinematography" that I co-wrote with Kris Malkiewicz ten years ago doesn't deal with digital cameras.

 

The 2nd edition of Malkiewicz's Cinematography was my bible when I was trying to learn the technical fundamentals, so it can only have gotten better with David's additions.  None of my film classes really went as in-depth as I wanted (probably since my college offered a Media Arts major...not a film major,) so a lot of what of what I've learned has been through reading, hands-on trial and error and about 15 years of participation in this forum.


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#7 George Ebersole

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 06:23 PM

Isn't the little red ASC pocket book the one that every DP swears by?


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 08:15 PM

When I was a beginner, I wore out my copy of "Masters of Light" and had to buy a second one, so I recommend it.  "Film Lighting" is also a must-have.

 

The ASC Manual is pretty up-to-date so it hardly fits the bill of being devoid of digital technology information, though it is full of "classic" info on lenses, depth of field, film formats, etc.


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#9 Matthew B Clark

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 09:10 PM

Thank you. That is very good direction for me.
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