Monday, 1 June 2015

To my past cinematographers

To my past cinematographers:

As a director, I spent many long hours and days on set, creating beautiful moments with my actors and making sure the camera captured the action just the right way.  I had a vision in my mind and I worked tirelessly to bring it to the screen.  I knew the importance of a talented cinematographer in order to achieve that dream and so I hand picked each and every one of you for your talent, and, more specifically, your eye.

Yet there were many times I waited impatiently as you set up lights, placed bounced boards, took meter readings, and stared at the same scene for what seemed like eons.  I heard you saying "I'm perfecting the light" but my untrained eye could not detect any difference between the bounce board this way or that, could not determine why it wasn't good enough yet.  It all looked the same to me.

Fast forward a decade as I have now translated my experience as a director and my training in film to a photography business.  And now, I see it.  Now the burnt honey light at golden hour catches my breath.  Now the sunny haze settles around me.  Now I see the illumination on the milky skin of a newborn.  Now I race for my camera when the sharpness of the light falls perfectly across the living room floor.  Now I stand, for eons, and let my eyes adjust to the subtle nuances of light on my subjects, knowing the contours that will emerge in the final portrait.

To all my past cinematographers, I'm sorry.  Now I see what you saw.  Thank you for your patience and example so that I, too, may emerge as a photographer.

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