Great DP/ Cinematographers

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2.
John Toll
Cinematographer, Braveheart
 
3.
Emmanuel Lubezki
Cinematographer, Gravity
Lubezki began his career in Mexican film and television productions in the late 1980s. His first international production was the 1993 independent film Twenty Bucks, which followed the journey of a single twenty-dollar bill. Lubezki is a frequent collaborator with fellow Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón...
 
5.
Matthew Libatique
Cinematographer, Black Swan
 
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Darius Khondji
Cinematographer, Amour
 
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Kazuo Miyagawa
Cinematographer, Rashômon
 
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12.
Vittorio Storaro
Cinematographer, Apocalypse Now
Vittorio Storaro, the award-winning cinematographer who won Oscars for "Apocalypse Now", "Reds" and "The Last Emperor". 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 technical school...
 
13.
Sven Nykvist
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 most natural look imaginable...
 
14.
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 office boy at William Fox Studios...
 
15.
Gordon Willis
Cinematographer, The Godfather
 
16.
Christopher Doyle
Cinematographer, Ying xiong
 
17.
Conrad L. Hall
Cinematographer, American Beauty
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 commercials...
 
18.
James Wong Howe
Cinematographer, The Thin Man
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 he worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad...
 
19.
Charles Rosher
Cinematographer, Sunrise
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 in Regent Street...
 
20.
Leon Shamroy
Cinematographer, Planet of the Apes
 
21.
Joseph Ruttenberg
Cinematographer, The Philadelphia Story
Four-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1893, at the age of four, his family moved to the United States, eventually settling in Boston. After schooling, he got his first job in 1907 working as a newsboy and personal runner for William Randolph Hearst's 'Boston American'...
 
22.
Robert Surtees
Cinematographer, The Graduate
Robert L. Surtees began his working life as a portrait photographer and retoucher, before becoming camera assistant at Universal in 1927. He spent a lengthy apprenticeship (15 years) working under such experienced cinematographers as Hal Mohr, Joseph Ruttenberg and Gregg Toland. Between 1929 and 1930...
 
23.
Arthur C. Miller
Cinematographer, How Green Was My Valley
Arthur was known as one of Hollywood's most accomplished lighting cameramen, a master at black and white cinematography. Miller began his career at 13, serving as an assistant to cinematographer Fred J. Balshofer. (They co-authored a book entitled "Two Reels and a Crank" in 1967.) Miller photographed the serial "The Perils of Pauline" in 1914...
 
24.
Freddie Young
Cinematographer, Lawrence of Arabia
Freddie Young was one of the great cinematographers who won Oscars for his collaborations with David Lean on Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, and Ryan's Daughter. He was the first English director of photography to shoot a movie in the wide-screen CinemaScope, a process which he mastered, which is evident from his work with Lean.
 
25.
Vittorio Storaro
Cinematographer, Apocalypse Now
Vittorio Storaro, the award-winning cinematographer who won Oscars for "Apocalypse Now", "Reds" and "The Last Emperor". 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 technical school...
 
26.
Winton C. Hoch
Cinematographer, The Searchers
 
27.
Harry Stradling Sr.
Cinematographer, My Fair Lady
Multi-Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (13 in all), Harry Stradling was unique in that he established his reputation both in America and in Europe. He was the nephew of Mary Pickford's cameraman Walter Stradling, who provided the connections for his first job in Hollywood. Walter died in 1918 and Harry went on to serve his apprenticeship...
 
28.
John Alcott
Cinematographer, The Shining
John Alcott, the Oscar-winning cinematographer best known for his collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick, was born in 1931, in Isleworth, England, the son of movie executive Arthur Alcott, who would become the production controller at Gainsborough Studios during the 1940s. Alcott began his film career as a clapper boy...
 
29.
Ray Rennahan
Cinematographer, Laramie
Ray Rennahan started working behind movie cameras from 1917. Early on, he had the foresight to recognise the potential for dramatically enhancing motion pictures by the application of colour cinematography. During the 1920's, he was regarded as a leading innovator in the development of the three-strip Technicolor process...
 
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Burnett Guffey
Cinematographer, Bonnie and Clyde
Burnett Guffey was a man who loved his family and the work that he did. Till his very last days, he kept his no bull attitude and will always be loved and remembered for his greatness by his family.
 
32.
Haskell Wexler
Two-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler was adjudged one of the ten most influential cinematographers in movie history, according to an International Cinematographers Guild survey of its membership. He won his Oscars in both black & white and color, for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and Bound for Glory (1976)...
 
33.
William C. Mellor
Cinematographer, Giant
Mellor began his career in the photographic labs at Paramount in the mid-20's. By 1934, he had graduated to full-time director of photography, working primarily on the studio's lesser productions. At the same time, he continued to serve his apprenticeship by assisting veteran cinematographer Victor Milner as first camera operator on A-grade features...
 
34.
Chris Menges
Cinematographer, The Reader
 
35.
Geoffrey Unsworth
Cinematographer, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Goeffrey Unsworth was one of the great cinematographers of the 20th Century, the winner of two Oscars, five BAFTA awards, and three awards from the British Society of Cinematographers for his work as a director of photography. Born in 1914 in Lancashire, England, Unsworth started in the industry in 1932 at Gaumont-British before joining Technicolor in 1937...
 
36.
Hal Mohr
Cinematographer, Captain Blood
Distinguished pioneering cinematographer, with a six-decade long career in motion pictures. As a teenager, Hal built his own camera while still at school and took photos of local interest which he then developed and printed. He sent a number of these pictures to the New York Herald-Tribune and they were deemed good enough to invite interest from Hollywood...
 
37.
John Toll
Cinematographer, Braveheart
 
38.
Freddie Francis
Cinematographer, The Elephant Man
During his last years at school he spent most of his time writing a thesis on 'the future of film' On leaving school he joined Gaumont British Studios at Lime Grove as an apprentice to a stills photographer for a year. He claimed this taught him more about the art of photography than any other form of training could...
 
39.
Charles Lang
Cinematographer, Some Like It Hot
One of the outstanding cinematographers of Hollywood's Golden Age, Lang spent most of his career at Paramount (1929-1952), where he contributed to the studio's well-earned reputation for visual style. Lang was educated at Lincoln High School in L.A., then proceeded to the University of Southern California to study law...
 
40.
William V. Skall
Cinematographer, Rope
 
41.
W. Howard Greene
Cinematographer, A Star Is Born
W. Howard Greene, a pioneer in color cinematography, was nominated for an Oscar seven times, including five straight years from 1940 to 1944. All of his nominations were for his work in color, in the days when color and black and white cinematography were different categories at the Academy Awards....
 
42.
Victor Milner
Cinematographer, The Lady Eve
Pioneering cinematographer Victor Milner acquired his fascination with the celluloid media during the days of the nickelodeon. After working as a lab assistant for a film equipment manufacturer, he joined Pathe Weekly News in the capacity of projectionist and newsreel cameraman. Among other events, he filmed the U.S...
 
43.
George Barnes
Cinematographer, Rebecca
Veteran cinematographer George S. Barnes had a well-earned reputation for reliability and a knack for combining artistry with economic efficiency. As a result, he was seldom out of work. Having started as a still photographer for Thomas H. Ince in 1918, Barnes quickly rose through the ranks to director of photography...
 
44.
Joseph LaShelle
Cinematographer, The Apartment
Trained as an electrical engineer, Joseph LaShelle entered the film industry as a lab assistant with Paramount in 1920 in order to finance entry to Stanford University. Having worked his way up to superintendent of the Paramount printing room after three years, he decided to stay on. By 1925, he was...
 
45.
Ernest Laszlo
Cinematographer, Judgment at Nuremberg
Ernest Laszlo, the Academy Award-winning cinematographer best known for his creative collaborations with directors Robert Aldrich and Stanley Kramer, was born on April 23, 1898, in Budapest, Hungary, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After emigrating to the US, he worked as a camera operator on Wings...
 
46.
Daniel L. Fapp
Cinematographer, The Great Escape
American cinematographer who spent the bulk of his career at Paramount (1923-1959). After two years apprenticed in the studio lab, Fapp first worked the movie camera as an assistant in 1925. By 1941, he had graduated to full director of photography at the behest of cinematographer, turned director, Ted Tetzlaff...
 
47.
Tony Gaudio
Tony Gaudio was born Gaetano Antonio Gaudio on November 20, 1883, in Cosenza, Italy, to a professional photographer. After attended art school in Rome, he became an assistant to his father and elder brother, who were portrait photographers. Eventually he segued into cinema, starting with "Napoleon Crossing the Alps" in 1903...
 
48.
Ernest Haller
Cinematographer, Gone with the Wind
Distinguished American cinematographer Ernest Haller started in the industry in 1914 as an actor with Biograph after leaving his first job as a bank clerk. Within one year he discovered his true calling: being on the other side of the camera. By 1920, he had become a full director of photography and would go on to handle prestige pictures ...
 
49.
Milton R. Krasner
Cinematographer, All About Eve
Milton Krasner entered the film industry as an assistant cameraman in 1917, and while working at the Vitagraph and Biograph studios in New York City was promoted to camera operator. Graduating to lighting cameraman in 1933, he was assigned mostly second features until the mid-'40s, when his excellence in black-and-white photography was finally recognized...
 
50.
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 office boy at William Fox Studios...
 
51.
Harold Rosson
Cinematographer, The Wizard of Oz
Harold G. "Hal" Rosson, a cinematographer known for his subtle and imaginative lighting, was born in Genaseo, New York, on August 24, 1895, although some sources cite his birthday as April 6, 1895, or in 1889. Rosson entered the movie industry in 1908 as an actor at the Vitagraph Studios in Brooklyn...
 
52.
Joseph A. Valentine
Cinematographer, Rope
 
53.
Ernest Palmer
Cinematographer, Broken Arrow
 
54.
Néstor Almendros
Cinematographer, Kramer vs. Kramer
One of the highest appraised contemporary cinematographers. He was born in Spain but moved to Cuba by age 18 to join his exiled anti-Franco father. In Havana, he founded a cineclub and wrote film reviews. Then, he went on to study in Rome at the Centro Sperimentale. He directed six shorts in Cuba and two in New York...
 
55.
Robert Burks
Cinematographer, Rear Window
The favorite cinematographer of famous director Alfred Hitchcock began working at Warner Brothers when he was 19 years old. He climbed his way up from camera operator to assistant camera man and eventually took over the Special Photographic Effects unit at Warners on Stage 5 in 1944. He became an expert in forced perspective techniques which were widely in use at the time as cost-saving measures...
 
56.
William H. Daniels
Cinematographer, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Oscar-winning director of photography William Daniels was a master of black-and-white cinematographer most famous for the 21 films he shot that starred the immortal Greta Garbo between 1926 and 1939. Among the Gabro classics he lensed were The Torrent, Flesh and the Devil, Love (Garbo and home studio MGM's first crack at Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina")...
 
57.
Allen M. Davey
Cinematographer, Cover Girl
 
58.
Lee Garmes
Cinematographer, Scarface
One of the most innovative of pioneer cameramen, Lee Garmes started his career on the East Coast with the New York Motion Picture Company, but was soon persuaded by the director Thomas H. Ince to join him in Hollywood. Garmes quickly climbed his way up the ladder, from painter's assistant to prop boy (future director Henry Hathaway shared the same duties at 'Inceville')...
 
59.
Loyal Griggs
Cinematographer, The Ten Commandments
Loyal Griggs entered the film industry in the mid-1920s, directly out of high school, as an assistant in the special effects department of Paramount. He was a cameraman for nearly 30 years before graduating to director of photography, and he proved his worth by winning an Academy Award for cinematography for Shane, just two years after his elevation to lighting cameraman.
 
60.
Wally Pfister
Cinematographer, The Dark Knight
 
61.
John Seale
Cinematographer, Mad Max: Fury Road
 
62.
Leonard Smith
Cinematographer, National Velvet
 
63.
Karl Struss
Cinematographer, The Great Dictator
Oscar-winning cinematographer Karl Struss was born on November 30, 1886, in New York City. He became a professional photographer after studying photography with Clarence H. White and became part of the group associated with the great photographer Alfred Stieglitz. His photographs, which he characterized as "pictorial" rather than "fashion"...
 
64.
Vilmos Zsigmond
Cinematographer, The Deer Hunter
Along with László Kovács, a fellow student who fled Hungary in 1956, Zsigmond rose to prominence in the 1970s. He is known for his use of natural light and vivid use of color on features such as The Long Goodbye and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
 
65.
Jack Cardiff
Almost universally considered one of the greatest cinematographers of all time, Jack Cardiff was also a notable director. He described his childhood as very happy and his parents as quite loving. They performed in music hall as comedians, so he grew up with the fun that came with their theatrical life in pantomime and vaudeville...
 
66.
Karl Freund
Cinematographer, I Love Lucy
Karl Freund, an innovative director of photography responsible for development of the three-camera system used to shoot television situation comedies, was born on January 16, 1890, in the Bohemian city of Koeniginhof, then part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire (now known as Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic)...
 
67.
Sam Leavitt
Cinematographer, Anatomy of a Murder
 
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Oswald Morris
Cinematographer, Lolita
Oscar-winning cinematography Oswald Morris was one of the most outstanding directors of photography of the 20th Century, making his reputation by expanding the parameters of color cinematography. Born in November 1915 in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England, a month short of his 17th birthday, he became a factotum and clapper boy at Wembley Studios...
 
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Billy Williams
Cinematographer, Gandhi
 
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Arthur E. Arling
Cinematographer, Pillow Talk
 
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Dion Beebe
Cinematographer, Edge of Tomorrow
 
74.
Joseph F. Biroc
Cinematographer, It's a Wonderful Life
Joseph Biroc was destined to become one of the most versatile cinematographers in Hollywood, working on films of almost every genre. He started as a lab assistant in 1918, based at Paragon Studio, located in America's first 'film capital', Ft.Lee, New Jersey. From there, he moved on to the Paramount facility in Long Island as a camera assistant...
 
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Boris Kaufman
Cinematographer, 12 Angry Men
Boris Kaufman, the Oscar-winning cinematographer who shot Jean Vigo's oeuvre and helped introduce a neo-realistic style into American films, was born on August 24, 1897, in Bialystok, Poland, then part of the Russian Empire. The youngest son of librarians, the Soviet directors Denis Kaufman (a.k.a...
 
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Fred J. Koenekamp
Cinematographer, Papillon
 
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Russell Metty
Cinematographer, Spartacus
Cinematographer Russell Metty, a superb craftsman who worked with such top directors as John Huston, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg and Orson Welles, was born in Los Angeles on Septmeber 20, 1906. Entering the movie industry as a lab assistant, he apprenticed as an assistant cameraman and graduated to lighting cameraman at RKO Radio Pictures in 1935...
 
82.
Paul Vogel
Cinematographer, My Three Sons
 
83.
George J. Folsey
Cinematographer, Forbidden Planet
Pioneer cinematographer George Folsey started out in 1914 as an errand boy with the Lasky Feature Play Company in New York. His introduction to camerawork came, when he was asked by cinematographer H. Lyman Broening to assist with post-production (tracking dissolve and fades for intercutting). By the time he was 21...
 
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Caleb Deschanel
Cinematographer, The Patriot
 
87.
Franz Planer
Cinematographer, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Descended from a wealthy family of landowners in what was then Austria-Hungary, Franz Planer understood the importance of photography as an art form early in his life. He first stood behind the camera as a portrait photographer, working out of Vienna from 1910. He soon branched out, filming newsreels in Paris and...
 
88.
Owen Roizman
Cinematographer, The Exorcist
Ace cinematographer Owen Roizman was born September 22, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York. His father Sol was a cinematographer for Fox Movietone News and his uncle Morrie Roizman was a film editor. Owen studied math and physics at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He began his career shooting TV commercials...
 
89.
Rudolph Maté
One of the most respected cinematographers in the industry, Polish-born Rudolph Mate entered the film business after his graduation from the University of Budapest. He worked in Hungary as an assistant cameraman for Alexander Korda and later worked throughout Europe with noted cameraman Karl Freund...
 
90.
Bruno Delbonnel
Cinematographer, Amélie
 
91.
William A. Fraker
Camera and Electrical Department, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
 
92.
Robert H. Planck
Cinematographer, My Three Sons
 
93.
Joseph Walker
Cinematographer, It's a Wonderful Life
Frank Capra's favourite cinematographer began his working life as an electrical engineer who collaborated with Lee De Forest on building the first wireless transmitter. However, it was his interest in moving picture photography which led him to work in film laboratories, where his numerous pioneering inventions included the first lens adjustment mechanisms (zoom lenses)...
 
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Michael Ballhaus
Cinematographer, The Departed
 
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Arthur Edeson
Cinematographer, Casablanca
Arthur Edeson is an American cinematographer who was a pioneer of his craft. His career spanned four decades and encompassed many films now regarded as classics. Born in New York in 1891, Edeson first worked as a still photographer. In 1911 he entered the movie business at Eclair Studios, a production unit based in Fort Lee...
 
97.
Bert Glennon
Cinematographer, Stagecoach
While attending Stanford University in 1912, Bert Glennon was hired as an assistant cameraman, and, upon graduation, went into the film business full-time. Becoming a director of photography in 1916, Glennon became one of the industry's most respected craftsmen and worked often for such perfectionist directors as John Ford and Cecil B. DeMille...
 
98.
Ray June
Cinematographer, Funny Face
Ray June's experience as a cameraman in the US Army Signal Corps in World War I helped him become one of the top cinematographers in the industry. He did some of his best work at MGM, and helped develop what became known as "the MGM look": a rich, elegant, glossy veneer that set that studio's product apart from every other...
 
99.
Joseph MacDonald
Cinematographer, The Sand Pebbles
Versatile Mexico City-born cinematographer, who worked equally well with black-and-white and with colour film, and in every genre from film noir, to westerns, to musicals. Joe MacDonald served a lengthy apprenticeship, starting as assistant cameraman in the early 1920's, finally graduating to first camera operator by the beginning of the following decade...
 
100.
Ted D. McCord
Cinematographer, The Sound of Music
Ted McCord learned his craft 'on the job' as a camera assistant at the Hobart Bosworth Productions Company in 1917. His first credited film as fully-fledged cinematographer was Sacred and Profane Love, billing himself as 'T.D.McCord'. During the 20's, he worked on a wide variety of subjects, from romantic comedy (Irene) to westerns (The Code of the Scarlet) to melodrama (The Crash)...