Sunday, January 29, 2012

Visions of Light

I love photography, and I love movies

I find I can watch a film time and again, each time discovering something fresh and each time, enjoying it for a different reason.

But it's only lately that I've realized that a big part of what I love about movies is the photography.

It struck me the other day that they were originally called moving pictures. Movies because they are pictures that move. Elemental I know, but still a connection I hadn't really made .

Photography is so integral to film that I think we often take it for granted. But nothing is so basic to the craft of movie making as photography.

With all of this on my mind, I recently viewed an exceptional documentary called Visions of Light. Compiled by the American Film Institute, it features interviews and commentary by noted DPs (Directors of Photography).

It's an enlightening piece of film.

They talk about photography and the history and art of movie making, starting back in the day when movies were made by one single person holding a camera. How in the early days, all cameras were hand held, allowing photographers to capture images that hold up one over hundred years later. Look at some of the scenes in the early silents and you'll see what I mean.

Then, with the advent of sound, movies became immobile, which changed the look of so many movies, but photographers continued to innovate.

I was particularly taken with the talk of "seeing" in black and white as opposed to color. Long time readers may remember I went through a serious black and white phase while we were staying at Ghost Ranch, and I often find myself leaning in that direction.

We got Visions of Light from our local library and I can recommend this documentary 100%. If you love movies or photography, or if you just want an afternoons entertainment, check it out.

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