James Wong Howe features on today's Google homepage - but just who was he? And why mark his 118th birthday. The Chinese American cinematographer, honoured with a special Google Doodle , rose to fame for his innovative filming techniques despite racial adversity. Born in Guangzhou, Howe immigrated to the US when he was five years old and grew up in Washington state.
He boxed professionally in his teens, worked odd jobs, then finally started in the industry by delivering films and picking up scraps from a studio’s cutting room floor. Throughout his career, he used lighting, framing, and minimal camera movement to express emotion. He accidentally discovered how to use dark backdrops to create colour nuances in black-and-white film.