An In-depth Description On The Role Of Director Of Photography

The director of photography, otherwise called the DP or the cinematographer, helps the film director by setting up the visual look of the motion picture. As a DP, you’ll help recount the story through the creative and specialized choices you make with respect to lighting, film stock, shot choice, camera operation and different components. A DP’s obligations and duties incorporate the work he does some time before, during and after film creation.

Visual Style

The director of photography works with production designers, art directors, set dressers and even closet group and hairdressers to help build up the look of the film and its individual scenes. The choices made around there should bolster the script and the director’s vision and result in symbolism that the camera can catch.

Film Stock Selection

The determination of film stock can significantly impact the look of the film. The shifting grouping of light-delicate emulsions in video form stock decides the shading tones and the level of graininess watchers see. The choices made fundamentally in pre-production – additionally, including strategies for printing the film in post production – help set the state of mind and propel the film’s plot. For example, an urban crime drama may utilize a grainy stock to mirror the coarse setting and state of mind, while a more cheery element may be shot on a film stock that backings a lighter, airier palette.


In lighting the film, the executive of photography may settle on a frosty blue hope to propose a physically or sincerely icy condition, or warm shades to set a nostalgic or endearing tone. Gordon Willis, the Academy Award-winning cinematographer who took a shot at “The Godfather” and its spin-offs, earned the moniker “The Prince of Darkness” for his emotional and starkly lit composition.

Camera Operation

In uncommon cases, the chief of photography really works the motion picture camera. All the more normally, he manages the camera group and ensures the chief gets the film he imagined through the way it’s shot. This includes picking the number of cameras included, and their arrangement and development. It also involves framing of the scene, overseeing the use of camera filters and aperture settings, and selecting special equipment. For instance, David Lean’s cinematographer on his sprawling stories “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Specialist Zhivago” was Freddie Young, an early British aficionado of the wide-screen CinemaScope focal point – perfect for his directors’ vast panoramic landscapes.

Is this role right for You?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • have good technical knowledge of photochemical and digital processes

  • know all about camera equipment

  • have in-depth knowledge of lighting techniques and how to achieve them

  • have considerable industry experience

  • be flexible in order to adapt ideas instantly

  • be able to take decisions quickly

  • know about photography, painting and the moving image

  • have an artistic vision

  • be creative

  • pay precise attention to detail

  • have good color vision

  • be able to give and accept direction

  • have excellent communication skills

  • be diplomatic and tactful when working with cast and crew

  • know about health and safety legislation and procedures