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17 Best Cinematography Books of All Time

Our goal: Find the best Cinematography books according to the internet (not just one random person's opinion).

    Here's what we did:
  1. Type "best cinematography books" into our search engine and study the top 5 pages.
  2. Add only the books mentioned 2+ times.
  3. Rank the results neatly for you here! 😊
    (It was a lot of work. But hey! That's why we're here, right?)

(Updated 2023)

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  1. 2
  2. 3
  3. 7


    Kris Malkiewicz

  4. 9
  5. 12
  6. 14

    A Man with a Camera

    Nestor Almendros

  7. 15

    Writing with Light

    Vittorio Storaro

  8. 16
  9. 17


  • What are the top cinematography books to read if I'm looking for a practical guide to filmmaking techniques?

    Ah, a quest for knowledge, always a good sign! The world of film production is vast and complex, with many nuances in techniques, so having a good book or two can be really beneficial. Some top books you should read are "Cinematography: Third Edition" by Kris Malkiewicz and M. David Mullen and "Master Shots Vol 1, 2 and 3" by Christopher Kenworthy. These books provide a comprehensive filmmaker's view on various technical aspects of filmmaking and cinematography. You'll learn about things like lighting, shot composition, and how to visually tell a story.

  • How do cinematography books rate in the larger scheme of learning about film production?

    In the film industry, books are a highly valued resource. Cinematography books are especially treasured since they offer an in-depth, technical storage of information that can't always be found elsewhere. For instance, a podcast like Musicbed Podcast or the Podcast Musicbed can provide fantastic insights, but they can't replace the depth of knowledge found in a book.

  • Are there any cinematography books that offer a unique perspective on lighting in filmmaking?

    Yes, indeed! The book "Painting With Light" by John Alton is an exceptional resource. This book delves into the world of cinematography lighting techniques, offering readers a powerful understanding of how to use lighting to create dramatic scenes and enhance visual storytelling.

  • How would you rate the New York Film Academy's book on cinematography?

    The New York Film Academy's book, "The Art of Cinematography," is a highly recommended read. It provides readers with a comprehensive and industry-relevant view of cinematography. It covers a wide range of topics, from lighting to editing, and gives a solid foundation for aspiring filmmakers.

  • Can cinematography books help me get a better grasp of the visual techniques used in top films?

    Absolutely! Understanding the visual language of cinema is critical in filmmaking, and cinematography books are an excellent resource for learning this. They cover various techniques used by directors and cinematographers, from lighting to shot composition, to help create visually striking movies.

  • Are there cinematography books that help indie filmmakers to better understand cinematography techniques?

    Absolutely! "The Filmmaker's Eye" by Gustavo Mercado is an excellent book for indie filmmakers. This book provides a comprehensive understanding of cinematography and how to apply its techniques to indie film production.

  • Beyond the books, where else can I learn about cinematography?

    Good question! Besides cinematography books, you can learn a lot from watching films (yes, really!), listening to podcasts such as the Musicbed Podcast, and even enrolling in film schools like the New York Film Academy. Also, don't underestimate the power of practical experience. Getting your hands on a camera and experimenting with lighting and techniques is one of the best ways to learn.

  • How regularly should I read cinematography books to stay updated on filmmaking techniques?

    We'd recommend reading a new cinematography book every few months to keep your skills sharp and stay updated on industry trends. But remember, it's not just about reading, but also applying what you've learned in your own projects.

  • How much should I expect to pay for top-rated cinematography books?

    Cinematography books are an investment in your filmmaking education, so their prices can vary widely. You might find some for as low as $20, while others may cost over $100. However, don't let the price deter you. The knowledge gained is an invaluable resource that will pay off in the long run.

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