A cinematographer or director of photography (sometimes shortened to DP or DOP) is the chief over the camera crews working on a film, television production or other live action piece and is responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image. In this post i enlist my top 5 favourite cinematographers, i will be looking at their styles and backgrounds.
1. Danny Cohen
Danny Cohen was born in 1963 in London, UK. He is now a cinematographer, and a member of the British Society of Cinematographers. He has worked on many feature films and TV series, and is a long term collaborator with director Tom Hooper, working with him on Longford (2006), John Adams (2008), The King’s Speech (2010), and Les Misérables (2012). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for the movie King’s Speech. By far one of my personal favourite cinematographers, bellow you can see the great colours and compositions of his shots and also you can see how as the years have passed the more complex his shots become.
Starting with “This is England” which gives us a very documentary vibe, we then go into “King’s Speech” which gives us a very rusty desaturated feel, it feels ran down and frustrated which reflects the story very well. If you haven’t seen these films make sure they are on the list of films to watch when you’re next on Netflix or NOWtv.
Still from Shane Meadows 2006 “This Is England”
Still from Tom Hooper’s 2012 “Les Miserables”
2. Jeff Cronenweth
Jeffrey Scott “Jeff” Cronenweth, ASC was born on 14, 1962 is an American cinematographer based in Los Angels, California. Jeff worked with his father Jordan Cronenweth (cinematographer most notable for Blade Runner) as a camera loader and second camera assistant during hight school.
Jeff is known for his dim-lit close-up, long shot filming as shown in Fight Club including many of the music videos and commercials he has worked on. As he says of Fight Club, “whether we were inside or outside, we always wanted to keep a shallow depth of field to keep the audience focused on what we wanted them to see.
Filmography: Fight Club (1999), One Hour Photo (2002), K-19: The Windowmaker (2002), Down With Love (2003), The Social Network (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Hitchcock (2012), Gone Girl (2014)
3. Wally Pfister
Walter C. “Wally” Pfister, A.S.C., B.S.C.(born July 8, 1961) is an American cinematographer and film director, who is best known for his work with Christopher Nolan. Pfister won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Inception(2010). Pfister is also known for his work on director F. Gary Gray‘s Italian Job andBennett Miller‘s Moneyball. Pfister made his directorial debut with Transcendence (2014), through Alcon Entertainment.
Pfister was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in New York City. He is the son of Patricia Ann (née Conway) and Walter J. Pfister, Jr. His grandfather was the city editor of a newspaper in Wisconsin. His father, also known as Wally, was a TV news producer, who began his career with CBS-TV in Chicago in 1955. Later, as an executive at ABC News, the elder Pfister worked with David Brinkley and Peter Jennings, covering political conventions, space flights and the civil rights movement.
When Pfister was about 11, a film company shot scenes for Shamus (1973), featuring Burt Reynolds, in his neighborhood. The boy was fascinated by the crew setting up lights and cameras. Soon afterwards, he began shooting 8 mm home movies and short films. Pfister also emulated his father by shooting slides on Kodachrome film and assembling them into little shows for family and friends.
Filmography: The Granny (1995), Memento (2000), Rustin (2001), Insomnia (2002), The Italian Job (2003), Batman Begins (2005), The Prestige (2006), The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), Moneyball (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Marley (2012)
Still From Bennett Miller’s 2011 “Moneyball”
Still From Bennett Miller’s 2011 “Moneyball”
4. Matthew Libatique
Matthew Libatique is an American cinematographer best known for his work with director Darren Aronofsky on such films as π, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and Black Swan. A Filipino-American, was born in Elmhurst, Queens, New York. He studied sociology and communications at California State University Fullerton before earning a MFA in cinematography at AFI Conservatory.
Filmography: Requiem for a Dream (2000), Tigerland (2000), Phone Booth (2002), Gothika (2003), Never Die Alone (2004), Inside Man (2006), The Fountain (2006), The Number 23 (2007), Iron Man (2008), Passing Strange (2009), Iron Man 2 (2010), Black Swan (2011), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), Straight Outta Compton (2015)
5. Robert Richardson
Robert Bridge Richardson, A.S.C.(born August 27, 1955) is an American cinematographer. He has won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography three times, for his work on JFK, The Aviator, and Hugo. Richardson is and has been a frequent collaborator for several directors, including Oliver Stone, John Sayles, Errol Morris, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese. He is one of two living persons who won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography three times, the other being Vittorio Storaro.
Filmography: JKF (1991), City of Hope (1991), Natural Born Killers (1994), The Four Feathers (2002), Kill Bill vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill vol. 2 (2004), The Aviator (2004), Inglorious Bastards (2009), Shutter Island (2010), Eat Pray Love (2010), Hugo (2011), Django Unchained (2012), The Hateful Eight (2015).