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Favorite Cinematographers

Leading Creator

It's always interesting to me how great cinematographers understand and admire the work of great still photographers but still photographers who begin shooting motion don't often take the time to understand the work and craft of great cinematographers. Other than a basic understanding of light and composition, the crafts of still photography and cinematography have a lot less in common than still, photographers think.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce you to two amazing cinematographers. You have probably seen a lot of these movies but all of them are worth watching again just with the cinematography in mind. To me, Deakins always works in the service of the story. He does not draw attention to himself and is formal. Lubeski is more wild and experimental and sees light and composition in the most human and intimate way. 

As filmmakers and still photographers, we can all learn so much from their work. Who are your favorite cinematographers and what movies should I watch to become a better filmmakers?

Roger Deakins (No Country for Old Men, Blade Runner 2024, Skyfall, Sicario)

Emmanuel lubezki (Children of Men, Gravity, The Revenant, Birdman)



My current favorite is Hoyte van Hoytema - he most recently shot Nope, but also has done Dunkirk, Tenet, Interstellar and a number of others.  I think of him as a great balance of classic and modern, with the ability to create new ways of shooting (Nope is a great example) and incredible sequences (Dunkirk and Spectre).  

Totally agree Alex. I have not seen Nope yet but will thanks to you.

Prime Creator

Completely agree on Roger Deakins, I also really like 

Robby Müller, (Until the End of the World, Dead Man, Ghost Dog)

Matthew Libatique (Darren Aronofsky films)

Bill Pope (Scott Pilgrim vs the World, the Matrix)

Ellen Kuras (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I Shot Andy Warhol)

Christopher Doyle (Wong Kar Wai films)

Great list Tony. Wong Kar Wai films are a must-see for anyone getting serious about cinematography.