Color processing was used with film even before the adoption of color film. Hand painted animation or monochromatic dyed prints were common more than a century ago. The art of color timing came to prominence with color film though. Timing, itself, related to the duration of the various chemical baths. Chemistry was later mostly replaced by colored printing lights and color manipulation usually happened during intermediate printing. Then digital intermediate came and changed cinematography significantly. Read more
Light – Science & Magic by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver and Paul Fuqua is probably the most important book on lighting that you will ever read. Moreover, if you only ever read one book on lighting, make it this one. This is, indeed, a rather bold statement. In fact, some readers who are new to shooting images may actually be puzzled by this praise once they read the actual book. The information there can be fully appreciated after you’ve fought a bit with real-world lighting problems.
Michael Freeman is a popular author amongst photographers. He has written a myriad of books on photography related topics: lighting, exposure, composition, etc. As the title implies, The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos is concerned with the subject of composition. This is a vast subject. Composition encompasses everything involved in the graphic (or visual) representation of the scene in the image. And everything means everything.
A painting or a photo captures a moment. The moment may convey a story, or it may just freeze a beautiful scene. But no matter how good the picture is from a technical point of view, it is the composition that binds the components together. So the study of composition is concerned with the arrangement of the picture elements within the frame.
But how important is composition in video, and what does a book about painting composition has to do with video? A video shot is really just a superset of still pictures. Video adds another dimension to still frames: time; but in essence video is just a sequence of frames. So it is important to be familiar with pictorial composition. Camera and/or subject movement or inherent subject interest can sometime mask crappy composition. But this masking is really just that: it won’t really hide bad composition, just delay its discovery. And in order to successfully tackle moving images a firm grasp over still composition is a requirement. Interestingly, paintings are often much more complex in terms of composition compared to cinema shots. This is because, generally, the eye has more time to explore a painting and appreciate the details.