I would encourage anyone from amateur (photographers committed by passion) to professional (photographers committed by career choice) to include within their ongoing study curriculum source material covering cinematography. And, this book should be first on their reading list! It is a perfect compendium of technique, theory, equipment and practice.
What impresses me is how much more deeply the authors explain basic concepts, beyond what you find in most of the regular digital photography books currently on the market; and, the explanations are so succinct. Take, for instance, when discussing depth of field and distance compression and expansion in perspective, the choice between changing the camera to subject distance or changing focal lenght to control the size of the subject in the frame, pages 142 to 146, makes an enormous difference in the way the image will look. It is explained that,
" ... as the camera is moved closer, the relative size of foreground and background objects increase at different rates. [...] Perspective may be thought of as the rate at which objects become smaller the farther they are from the camera."
This isn't your ususal dslr concept of camera to subject distance and its effect on the still image, but it goes a great deal further to better conceptualize, visualize and help dslr photographers understand how to consciously and intelligently compose scenes to communicate subject character and thematic content. The authors then go on to explicitly demonstrate this concept through comparing and contrasting different photographs, and diagrams.
Another instance of this succint and analytical style of writing is near by, between pgs. 151-153, concerning applying focusing to the image and determining depth of field:
"In the ideal (theoretical) lens, there is only one subject plane in focus-everything in front of or behind this plane is out of focus. In the case of the portrait, if the man's eyes were exactly 10 feet from the camera, his nose and ears would be out of focus. Fortunately, with real lenses the area that looks in focus is more generous. A zone (called the depth of field) extends from in front of the subject to behind the subject, delineatiing the area of acceptable sharpness (see Fig. 4-8). In other words, the depth of field is the zone, measured in terms of near distance and far distance from the camera, where the image appears acceptably sharp."
Illustration follows to assist the visualization. These are just a couple of examples of the analytical and clear vision with which the book in its entirety has been written. These are the kinds of explanations for which I have been searching; and, no doubt, which you would welcome in lieu of sitting in a classroom listening to a professor lecture.
I bought this book after browsing at Borders for something to help me understand how to use cinematography techniques to produce still photos that look more cinematic. I got lucky that night! But you will find even more luck getting it from Amazon, since the price may be about half of what I paid at Borders. It's a great deal to get so much expert guidance for Amazon prices!