10 of the best Cinematographers

by Oleuanna | created - 22 Dec 2012 | updated - 19 May 2013 | Public

Part of the "you only need 10 to distinguish anomalous" series As I haven't seen every cinematographer, the list remains fluid

1. Gregg Toland

Cinematographer | Citizen Kane

Born in Illinois in 1904, the only child of Jennie and Frank Toland, Gregg and his mother moved to California several years after his parents divorced in 1910. Through Jennie's work as a housekeeper for several people in the movie business, Gregg may had gotten a $12-a-week job at age 15 as an ...

2. Sven Nykvist

Cinematographer | The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Sven Nykvist was considered by many in the industry to be one of the world's greatest cinematographers. During his long career that spanned almost half a century, Nyvist perfected the art of cinematography to its most simple attributes, and he helped give the films he had worked on the simplest and...

3. Vittorio Storaro

Cinematographer | Apocalypse Now

Vittorio Storaro, the award-winning cinematographer who won Oscars for "Apocalypse Now (1979)", "Reds (1981)" and "The Last Emperor (1987)". He was born on June 24, 1940 in Rome, where his father was a projectionist at the Lux Film Studio. At the age of 11, he began studying photography at a ...

4. Kazuo Miyagawa

Cinematographer | Yôjinbô

Kazuo Miyagawa was born on February 25, 1908 in Kyoto, Japan. He is known for his work on Yojimbo (1961), Rashômon (1950) and Otôto (1960). He died on August 7, 1999 in Tokyo, Japan.

5. James Wong Howe

Cinematographer | The Rose Tattoo

Master cinematographer James Wong Howe, whose career stretched from silent pictures through the mid-'70s, was born Wong Tung Jim in Canton (now Guangzhou), China, on August 28, 1899, the son of Wong How. His father emigrated to America the year James was born, settling in Pasco, Washington, where ...

6. Sergey Urusevskiy

Cinematographer | Selskaya uchitelnitsa

Sergey Urusevskiy was born on December 23, 1908 in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire as Sergei Pavlovich Urusevsky. He was a cinematographer and director, known for The Village Teacher (1947), Dream of a Cossack (1951) and Letter Never Sent (1960). He died on November 12, 1974 in Moscow, Russian SFSR,...

7. Gordon Willis

Cinematographer | Zelig

Gordon Willis was an American cinematographer. He is best known for his work on Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather series as well as Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979).

His work in the first two Godfather films turned out to be groundbreaking in its use of low-light photography ...

8. Christopher Doyle

Cinematographer | Paranoid Park

Christopher Doyle was born on May 2, 1952 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He is a cinematographer and actor, known for Paranoid Park (2007), Ying xiong (2002) and 2046 (2004).

9. Conrad L. Hall

Cinematographer | Road to Perdition

Born in Tahiti, the son of writer James Norman Hall, author of "Mutiny on the Bounty," Conrad Hall studied filmmaking at USC. He and two classmates formed a production company and sold a project to a local television station. Hall's company branched out into making industrial films and TV ...

10. Charles Rosher

Cinematographer | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Among the foremost technical innovators in his field, a charter member of the American Society of Cinematographers, English-born Charles Rosher had initially aimed for a diplomatic career. Fortunately, he chose a different career option and attended lessons in photography at the London Polytechnic ...