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Cinematographer
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Cinematographer

A cinematographer (from 'cinema photographer') is one photographing with a motion picture camera. The title is generally equivalent to director of photography, used to designate a chief over the camera and lighting crewss working on a film, responsible for achieving artistic and techical decisions related to the image. The cinematographer is sometimes also the camera operator.

The cinematographer typically selects the film stock, lens, filters, etc. to realize the scene in accordance with the intentions of the director. Relations between the cinematographer and director vary; in some instances the director will allow the cinematographer complete independence; in others, the director allows little to none, even going so far as to specify aperture and shutter speed. Such a level of involvement is not common once the director and cinematographer have become comfortable with each other. The director will typically convey to the cinematographer what s/he wants from a scene visually, and allow the cinematographer latitude in achieving that effect.

On some shoots, a director may assume the duties of the cinematographer, especially when shooting nude scenes or in other physically intimate settings where the director wishes to have as few people as possible present.

In some countries, cinematography is a unionized field; major guilds include the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) and the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC).

Noted cinematographers

Additional resources