Cinematography is an art. To master, it takes years of practice, dedication and careful observation.
By carefully structuring movement and composition, a visual story can be crafted that resonates with viewers. Studying how to frame a scene and how to tell stories visually through lighting and colour choices can evoke certain emotions and create powerful moments that strike faithful audiences’ hearts.
It’s no easy task; each action taken on screen must further the narrative somehow. Flawless execution requires precision and expertise from every artist involved – from cinematographers to actors, directors to production designers.
Achieving this requires knowing what works for your particular project at the time; understanding light sources, camera lenses, and filter use are vital components of producing stunning visuals. Yet it goes deeper than technique – forming connections with your cast & crew helps ensure everyone understands the story you’re trying to tell through your lens.
Cinematography also involves making creative decisions on new ways of capturing emotion, making one stand out from the rest. It’s a laborious process but worth the effort when acclaimed shots arise as the finished project has a lasting result beyond words or even pictures – these images speak to us in ways only they can, creating an emotion or evoking a memory all their own.
3 of the best Cinematography Movies
If Christopher Nolan’s complicated scientific concepts have been slightly too daunting, try watching Dunkirk. The war thriller chronicles the evacuation of troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 from three perspectives, with a focus on the land, sea and air.
Nolan and Hoytema had a grand vision for the film, aiming to make it a thrilling cinematic experience for the Imax screen. They used the camera to take us into a Spitfire plane, a sinking rescue vessel, and the shores of a war-torn beach for an immersive experience.
You are not just watching the battle – you’re in it. The scenes are practical and without many special effects, instead relying on visuals and sound to keep you on the edge of your seat. Don’t expect a Michael Bay level of explosive action; Hans Zimmer’s relentless ticking score will give you thrills all the way through.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is one of the most visually stunning films ever captured by cinematographer Roger Deakins, a living legend with 15 Oscar nominations. While I tried to be balanced in this list, there’s no denying that anything Deakins touches with his lens turns into gold, so if you’re looking for hidden gems, this is my top pick.
Andrew Dominik’s American Western epic, starring Brad Pitt as Jesse James, tells a revisionist version of the famed outlaw’s last years before his murder by an ambitious younger gang member who had spent his life idolizing him. The film captures the essence and beauty of seasonal change, from autumnal Midwest landscapes to cold wintry depths. However, at night, Roger Deakins’ true skill is revealed through his captivating use of candlelit darkness to capture the beauty in people and nature alike. Many consider the night-time train robbery scene at the film’s beginning to be Deakins’ most remarkable achievement.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, has become one of the greatest films ever made and remains an influential masterpiece. From its pioneering special effects, stunning cinematography and lack of dialogue, this movie proves that a great story can be achieved through visuals. Its influence is still seen in contemporary films today, and its beauty continues to astound viewers fifty years later.
Don’t be fixated on the film’s plot; let it take you on an unforgettable cinematic journey of human evolution. You may not understand precisely what you experienced the first time, but you will witness something beautiful and unique. Make an effort to watch it in 70mm on the big screen. I guarantee you won’t regret it!