Roger Deakins’ Cinematography Roundup


The purpose of this roundup is to put the highlights of the cinematography of the 11-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins whose work on films like The Shawnshank Redemption, No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James, Skyfall or even How to Train Your Dragon has created some of the most beautiful motion picture images in film history.


Let’s get to it.

Best known for his work on the films of the Coen brothers and Sam Mendes,”Deakins first cut his teeth in documentaries and music videos. Before the Coens came calling, Deakins moved up to features with some of the most distinctive British films of the period like Another Time Another Place (1983), Sid and Nancy (1986), Defence of the Realm (1986) and Personal Services (1987). (Guru Bafta)


The wallpapered hallway at the Hotel Earle might be the ugliest location we’re celebrating, but Roger Deakins manages to make it magically sinister, even before it bursts into Biblical flames. Barton Fink does for rundown flophouses what The Shining did for regal hotels, imbuing the hallway with its own sinister personality, setting up the surreal danger to come well before Barton realizes what he’s gotten himself into. (Cinemablend)


Triple BAFTA-winner, but the zero-time Oscar-winner has painted some of the most memorable moving-image palettes in recent cinema including the digitally reimagined deep South of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the fire-lit oil fields of Jarhead, the revisionist 19th century western tapestry of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and the cyber-present of London and Hong Kong in Skyfall. (Cinemablend)


The man who was there to shoot The Man Who Wasn’t There is the man who also accomplishes dream sequences that warp perception of reality with simplicity and elegance in the very first shot of the fantasy scene in the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski.


Deakins is one of the few cinematographers out there that can make the photography another fully-fleshed out character in its film. The films under him are known specifically for their achievements in cinematography. Hopefully, learning about what kinds of techniques DP’s such as Deakins use for their shots, you can find a way to implement them into your own work as a photographer or filmmaker. It’s easy to get surprised when you realize just how well a real looking picture can be captured when you set your stage up right. (DIYPhotography)