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“The Gamma and Density Journal” is an internet publication devoted to the Art and Craft of Cinematography.

 

April 30th, 2011:

 

This special commemorative issue of Gamma and Density Journal is devoted to a very important event in lives of all cinematographers everywhere – The Worldwide International Cinematography Conference (ICSC-2011).


Cinematography is an international art and craft, but still it is important for all of us to remember that we all “owe” to American Cinematography the invention of the sprocket wheel and the synchronized shutter, and the first use of artificial lights in 1905. As early as 1909 G.W. “Billy” Bitzer, D.W. Griffith’s legendary cinematographer, already experimented with lighting effects, and his 1913 “discovery” of backlight was the first step in overcoming the problem of screen depth.


Needless to say that American Cinematography then (and now!) was not existing in the in an “empty” space and time. In 1913, the first ever-traveling shot was in Italian film “Cabiria”, and their use of artificial light for artistic effects is still amazing today.


In the same year, 1913, the use of perspective and skillful manipulation of contrasts between light and dark in "The Student of Prague" by cinematographer Guido Seeber (Germany) raised the art of cinematography to the highest level thus far.


One of greatest American cinematographers, John Seitz, is credited with pioneering the concept of key lighting, which is standard practice today. The innovations from all continue endlessly…"