Joseph H. August was a prolific cinematographer who worked from 1911-1947. After graduating from the Colorado School of Mining, August became an assistant cameraman for Thomas Ince in 1911 and was soon promoted to first cameraman. He then worked as the regular cinematographer of Reginald Barker, William S. Hart and other directors throughout the silent era. In 1918 he was a co-founder of the elite American Society of Cinematographers (A.S.C.), an association for the promotion of excellence in motion picture photography. He later went on to work on some of John Ford's most famous films. He served as a Navy commander in Iceland and the Pacific during WW II. In 1947, while filming Portrait of Jennie he collapsed and died on the set. His son, Joseph A. August, Jr. works as a television cameraman.