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A Beginner's Guide To Cinematographers
Ten Directors of Photography who rock our world
Cinematographers, or Directors of Photography, are the (often) unheralded geniuses that light and frame our favourite movies, bringing the photo-fabulous eye to make sure story is enhanced and the technical prowess to ensure the crane doesn't keel over and crush the star. They're also responsible for some of cinematic's most iconic images. There's a wealth of talented cinematographers working today, but we've picked ten of the most distinctive to get you started. After all, if you want to pass for a film buff instead of a mere geek, you've got to know who the Director of Photographer was�

WORDS PHIL DESEMLYEN

Wally
Pfister
Janusz
Kaminski
Christopher
Doyle
Lance
Acord
John
Toll
Roger
Deakins
Robert
Elswit
Emmanuel
Lubezki
Barry
Ackroyd
Robert
Richardson
Wally Pfister | Beginnings Wally Pfister

Beginnings
If you want someone to thank for the Inception's folding cityscapes or Dark Knight's thunderous truck flip, try Wes Craven. It was when Nolan's original choice for Memento, DoP Peter Deming, was committed to Craven's Scream 3 that Wally Pfister began his fruitful partnership with Christopher Nolan, now six movies strong and counting. "I was running on empty," says Pfister of sitting down with Nolan, a meeting he'd raced to straight from an all-night shoot. "I was back in Alabama soon after, shooting another 12-hour night, so it would have really sucked if I hadn't got the job!"

Pictured: The Prestige (2006)

Have your say
Which cinematographers do you admire? Are you a fan of any of the cinematographers we've featured? Register or login now to have your say.


Your Comments
1 No Matthew Libatique?!?
Posted on Wednesday December 22, 2010, 07:55 by twangling_jack
I think Matthew Libatique is one of the top ten currently working cinematographers. His stuff is amazing. Black Swan is sure to get him a nom at the Oscars. Read More

2 RE:
Posted on Wednesday September 22, 2010, 07:16 by grucl
How could you forget Michael Ballhaus?   They even named a cameramove after him: the Ballhaus cirlce (a multiple 360 degree pan around the actors). Read More

3 RE: I'm glad Empire is defending Barry Ackroyd
Posted on Saturday September 18, 2010, 14:43 by lauriedunsire
L: pagey6005 No mention of The Prestige tho, I think he shot it beautifully! sp; Well, when they mention '6 movies and counting' in regard to the Nolan/Pfister partnership they are obviously including The Prestige in that, and the picture they use for the Pfister piece is from The Prestige also.   I agree with you incidentally, a very well shot film and the man is a genius. Read More

4 RE: I'm glad Empire is defending Barry Ackroyd
Posted on Saturday September 18, 2010, 08:42 by pagey6005
I'm glad empire led with Wally Pfister, the mans a genius in my eyes!   No mention of The Prestige tho, I think he shot it beautifully! Read More

5 RE: Also...
Posted on Friday September 17, 2010, 17:58 by Manfrendshensindshen
Wasn't Se7en lensed by Darius Kondji? As my earlier post seems to have evaporated I'd like to add a few of the great British DPs to the list: Geoffrey Unsworth, Jack Cardiff, Freddie Young, John Alcott, Gil Taylor, Ossie Morris, to mention the first names that come to mind in this context. Being German I really have to wonder why the UK has produced such an astonishing number of world-class cinematographers, when other European countries can count themselves lucky if one cameraman per decade manages to embark on a successful international career. L: reinhardt76 Ridley Scotts favourite DOP John Mathieson, whos grimy look on Se7en raised it above usual by-the-numbers thrillers, also on epics like Kingdom of Heaven which not even the life-sucking presence of Orlando Bloom could spoil Read More

6 RE:
Posted on Friday September 17, 2010, 16:49 by celestialnavigation
totally agree,Conrad L Hall made beautiful images in everything he did.also love Bruce Surtees work on alot of older Clint Eastwood films L: debsbzdc Have to say...Conrad L Hall... genius. Sadly missed. Read More

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