I am by trade and history a cinematographer, and have been for 30 years at least. I was responsible for the cinematography of such films as A Knight’s Tale, Mrs Brown and Shakespeare in Love.
Stills photography throughout this time was always a part-time romance. Now, with more time, it is a full blown love affair.
The technical knowledge and concerns of the cinematographer and the stills photographer drift in the same atmosphere. A concern about film stock, exposure, the nature of light, composition, the worry about the print, are all common ground. But more important, is the strange and wonderful quality to tell stories. The narrative, the plot, the tale, what is going on, gets most of my attention. A film is nothing without a good story, and that thought informs me every time I press the shutter and take the still, a story told or suggested, hinted at. I bring other cinematic concerns to the still. A sense of light and dark, a picture in depth, layers to aid looking and telling, and an eye for the wonders of colour.
It is no coincidence of course, that I came at photography as a filmmaker. Central to my experience as a cameraman has been the skill of interpreting a script. Being able to see the overall structure, the acts, the rhythms, the ebbs and flows and at the same time being able to translate the solid, the real and the everyday. There is a buzz in this skill, a joy in seeing an image grow from marks on a page, coalescing into the beats of a story. I bring this skill to my photography.