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Best living natural light cinematographer


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#1 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 02:10 AM

While I am partial to and in awe of many cinematographers (Seale, Zielinski, Wexler, Deschanel, etc.), but am really interested in what y'all think - is there an Ansel Adams of the cinema, and is he or she alive today?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:25 AM

Well, I'm not even sure what that means -- Ansel Adams went beyond just using available light, which is standard for anyone taking photos of exterior landscapes. If he were known mostly for interior photos in available light, we could talk about a cinematographer with a similar approach.

I mean, Ansel's sort of epic, monumental view of nature is more seen in some directors' work, like David Lean. Maybe Terrance Malick. Malick has probably pushed available light photography as much as anyone. Maybe Kubrick as well. Michael Mann for urban landscapes. The innovative cinematographers in terms of using low levels of natural illumination are the one that worked for these directors.

Cinematographers have to tell stories using light on a schedule and a budget, so there are limits to the practicality of using just available light if you want to maintain continuity through the coverage, plus create an overall consistent look and quality level.

The most eloquent spokesperson for the beauty of natural light was probably Nestor Almendros. Read "Man with a Camera", his autobiography.
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#3 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 01:36 AM

[quote name='David Mullen ASC' date='Jun 27 2006, 09:25 AM' post='112054']
Well, I'm not even sure what that means -- Ansel Adams went beyond just using available light, which is standard for anyone taking photos of exterior landscapes. If he were known mostly for interior photos in available light, we could talk about a cinematographer with a similar approach.[/quote]

Perhaps I should have asked the question in a more detailed way, but being well aware of Ansel Adam's approach and techniques, and assuming similar awareness among many who read this board, I meant to imply a cinematographer who has a similar approach to Adams.

[quote]
I mean, Ansel's sort of epic, monumental view of nature is more seen in some directors' work, like David Lean. Maybe Terrance Malick. Malick has probably pushed available light photography as much as anyone. Maybe Kubrick as well. Michael Mann for urban landscapes. The innovative cinematographers in terms of using low levels of natural illumination are the one that worked for these directors.[/quote]

Actually, even though I am a fan of Adam's epic pictures, I really meant his approach to photography, rather than a subset of his work. Thanks for the recommendations, David)

[quote]
Cinematographers have to tell stories using light on a schedule and a budget, so there are limits to the practicality of using just available light if you want to maintain continuity through the coverage, plus create an overall consistent look and quality level.[/quote]

Right with you on that one)

[quote]
The most eloquent spokesperson for the beauty of natural light was probably Nestor Almendros. Read "Man with a Camera", his autobiography.[/quote]

Another great recommendation, thanks man!
[/quote]
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#4 Sam Wells

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 03:41 PM

Nathaniel Dorsky; Peter Hutton

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#5 Ian Wilson

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 01:04 AM

umm one that really comes to my mind is John Toll
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#6 Joe Hemsani

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 09:08 PM

in my opinion Gábor Medvigy who shot most of bela tarr´s films
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Visual Products

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Aerial Filmworks

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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