Painting with Light


Painting with Light by John Alton, published by University of California Press.

I first came across this book through Amazon that suggested it as a book that might be of interest to me as a result of my searching and ordering of various books on photographic lighting.  I read the description and decided to add it to my ‘Wish List’ for future purchase as it did not meet my needs at that time but was certainly of great interest for future reading.  So I was pleased to find it listed on my reading list for my OCA course for film making.

This book was written in the late 1940’s and published in 1949 and although much of the equipment and film making process’ have now changed his guidance to lighting setups are still relevant and very useful for both film makers and still photographers alike.  His advice on portrait lighting is very good and he writes in a very familiar easy to follow language.  Alton has written this book for as much to entertain the reader as well as educate; so there are some chapters that you can skip if you only want to use this book for a students text book.

A very good book to keep in your library and very useful to re-refer to every now and then when considering your lighting for both inside and outside work, portrait, landscape and even architecture.

Alton died in 1996, I wonder what he would have made of the Digital Film revolution that came a decade later?


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