Few cinematographers have had as decisive an impact on the cinematic medium as John Alton. Best known for his highly stylized film noir classics T-Men, He. Painting with Light is a reprint of cinematographer John Alton s book that began as a series of articles for International Photographer. The artist can paint color, light shape, shadows, highlights, and reflections using a suite of tools [Alton ], painting is a natural metaphor for lighting composition thank Dani Lischinski, Alex Mohr, Szymon Rusinkiewicz, and John.
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turned off and the lights in the studio go down, and I think about what women them the way Act Like a Lady, Thi Head First Design Patterns. Painting with Light JOHN ALTON Introduction by Todd McCarthy Painting_ WITH Painting With Light, the first book on the art of cinematography ever written by. Detail Book: Original Title: Painting With Light; Author: John AltonTodd McCarthy( Introd; Format: Kindle Edition | 1 Edition | Pages | Sales Rank:
Master Shots Vol 3: Born in Hungary, he started his film career at the Cosmopolitan Studios in New York before heading for Hollywood to shoot low-budget silent westerns for the notoriously fast-working "One Shot" Woody Van Dyke. A Million Free e-Books! And that rural broadband program? Even though this was written years ago, the techniques are still used today. He created an equally alienated visual mood for the location exteriors of Border Incident , as also for Devil's Doorway , the first in Mann's great series of westerns. But the cinematography always reminds us that we aren't really watching a documentary, as Alton bathes the characters in sharp, dramatic lighting from the side with beams of light aimed perpendicular to the camera.
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Another way of learning and practicing is to have a sparring partner. The light has to tell something. There's a meaning, and it establishes a mood. In T-Men , their first film together, and its successors, his "intense downbeat virtuosity," as Stephen Handzo put it, meshed with Mann's acute spatial sense to produce "an unmistakable style: Mann readily paid tribute to Alton's skill in helping him achieve the maximum effects with the minimum means. For The Black Book , working to the usual modest budget, Alton contrived a richly atmospheric evocation of Revolutionary France, turbulent and treacherous, largely from shadows and silhouettes.
He created an equally alienated visual mood for the location exteriors of Border Incident , as also for Devil's Doorway , the first in Mann's great series of westerns.
Though his film noir work Is in many ways his most interesting, Alton was too professional a craftsman to limit himself to a single style. His association with Allan Dwan, which began with Driftwood , took in several of the veteran director's autumnal late westerns, including Silver Lode and Tennessee's Partner. To these he brought an austere lyricism, gently melancholy in its clarity, and long, elegant but unobtrusive tracking shots.
Cain's overheated melodrama with a Technicolor palate of startlingly garish hues set off by areas of deep shadow. The result, according to Andrew Sarris, was "one of the most eye-boggling American movies ever made. Alton's sole Academy Award came for his work on the climactic final ballet of An American in Paris , set to Gershwin's tone poem. Whatever the pretensions of the ballet itself, there is no gainsaying the virtuosity of Alton's lighting and camerawork.
In an attempt to suggest the psychological turmoil of Dostoyevsky's characters, he devised an expressionistic lighting scheme that threw deep shadows of saturated primary colours, a technique widely dismissed as crude and overemphatic.
A similar approach, but more subtly applied, worked far better in Elmer Gantry , John Fitzpatrick noted how Alton's photography "catches the Dust Bowl reds and browns by day and casts them against blue-black voids at night. Alton's last masterpiece of pure noir cinematography was The Big Combo , routine gangland-vengeance stuff transmuted by its visual treatment.
Jean-Pierre Coursodon observed how "Lewis's carefully studied spatial organization and positioning of actors, matched by John Alton's masterful balance of sparse lighting and engulfing darkness in predominantly deep-focus setups, create a dazzlingly rich texture which at times Vol 4: Writers and Production Artists.
New York-London et al. Whereas many directors of cinematography would simply arrange for two actors to be equal distance from the camera, Alton loved to give us one actor up close, preferrably turned sideways to the camera, while another actor stood in the background. And in Raw Deal, Raymond Burr lights some candles while O'Keefe gets the drop on him and steps into the back of the room.
Alton's desire to create the illusion of depth also meant he used objects in a room to break up the frame, such as the light shade in T-Men: It is an essential book for a grounding in basic lighting, in an era, but I don't see things lit the same way And with respect to my American friends, some things are explained in a long-winded way that I got in the first couple of paragraphs.
We don't need endless variations of what was just said. A lot of people have defended the book , almost religiously, as if somehow it could not possibly be less-than-prefect. Well, it probably was for the time.
Just not now. It is an essential library addition, but as a go-to book I'm not so sure.
It contains fundamental cinematography techiniques, advanced techniques, and a wealth of information regarding just that - painting with light. None of the info here has changed I recommend this to anyone, novice to expert, that has a passion for cinematography and wants to keep their sword ever-sharpened See all 41 reviews.
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