Cinematographers use lighting, lens selection, filtration, exposure and focus to create a particular look on motion picture film stock, videotape or digital files. Standard and high definition video and film are used as original mediums for documentaries, national commercials, feature films, movies of the week and television series productions.
Results are not instantly visible when using motion picture cameras, they only become evident during editing. Therefore, cinematographers must rely on their knowledge and experience to anticipate the effect production decisions will have on the final image. Their primary responsibility is to define an appropriate look and determine how best to achieve it.
In general, cinematographers:
control and create the photographic or electronic images for every second of film and video footage
select the type of camera, lighting equipment, film, video camera menus, filters and lenses to be used
adjust cameras for desired focus, exposure, composition and other settings
participate in file or image processing and grading of digital file-based media and video images for computer editing
participate in the transfer process in which film negatives are digitally transformed to video images for computer editing
alter video camera menus to achieve the desired effect
work closely with the director and other production crew members.
Depending on the size and scope of the project, cinematographers may be directors of photography or they may operate and set up camera and lighting equipment themselves. Directors of photography also may:
attend production meetings and collaborate with directors regarding lighting and camera needs
direct the work of several assistants
prepare and administer budgets.
· 7 years ago