Check Out Some of the Greatest Cinematographers in History

Creating a film is a team effort. It takes the wit of the writers, the magic of editing, the leadership of the director, the performance of the actor, and the art of cinematographers

Rarely do you see cinematographers get the praise they truly deserve when it comes to showing us what a movie should look like. While classifying a film’s cinematography is quite subjective, there are a lot of ways to make a great cinematographer. 

The technique, the skills, and the risks involved in pursuing art are all within the category. Without further ado, here are some of the best cinematographers of all time.

Check Out Some of the Greatest Cinematographers in History
Image Source: ICG Magazine

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom

This Thai native has provided us with some magical scenes in film. While he has made a name for himself through different collaborations, it was his partnership with Luca Guadagnino from the film Call Me by Your Name that truly made him shine the brightest. Mukdeeprom had the most difficult job of providing a sunny feel to the movie alongside the dry Northern Italian backdrop.

Check Out Some of the Greatest Cinematographers in History
Image Source: IndieWire

What audiences did not know, the movie suffered countless hours of a downpour during production. Out of 34 days of shooting, the movie only had around 6 days of pure sunlight but the movie turned out as if it was shot in the middle of summer. Movie magic at its finest in which only a great cinematographer like Mukdeeprom can do.

However, Mukdeeprom would once again up himself in another collaboration with Guadagnino with the remake of Suspiria. The film exchanges the bright neon 70s and 80s light with dark, earthy foreboding tones that made the film eerily creepy and very atmospheric. 

Mukdeeprom once again proved to himself and the world that he has the magical touch of cinematography right in his hands.

Roger Deakins

With over 50 films under his belt, Roger Deakins is already an institution in the world of cinematography. His photography is both edgy, dramatic, and very realistic as most of his films center around real-life situations such as in 1971 and Sicario. One can immediately determine Deakins’ work through his use of simple lighting. 

Roger Deakins is one of the few movie makers that does not rely on heavy lighting or the use of the most advanced technology when it comes to showing the movie. He does it with the simplest technique but also the most finesse execution. 

However, once in a while, he does like to treat himself in an otherworldly subject with the likes of Bladerunner: 2049 and other projects.

Deakins has won 2 Oscars so far but the list goes on up to 118 awards and almost 150 other nominations within the category alone. Some of his movies include Skyfall, The Shawshank Redemption, A Beautiful Mind, Fargo, and No Country For Old Men. All of which are highly-praised award-winning films of the past few decades.

Robert Richardson

Robert Richardson is known to collaborate with some of the most elite directors of Hollywood. You rarely see someone who has provided some of the most iconic works in cinematography flounder around with a newbie director or movie. Richardson uses hard lighting from the top and prefers the use of large sources of light to fully illuminate his movies. 

Check Out Some of the Greatest Cinematographers in History
Image Source: Cinematic Paintings

Some of the iconic scenes from movies such as Kill Bill Vol. 1, The Aviator, and Shutter Island are all from the great artwork of Richardson. The silver fox has created one of the most iconic high angle shots that is worthy of praise in Kill Bill. He usually collaborates with directors that are as equally passionate about films as him with the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese.

With 3 Oscars under his belt and another 15 wins from other award-giving bodies, Richardson continues the work of art in many films. Truly one of the greatest cinematographers that have graced the film industry, Robert Richardson remains a legend.


Many would argue that cinematographers or directors of photography do only one job. However, it takes a lot of imagination, technicality, skill, and talent to produce an artwork that only these movie makers can make. These highly sought-after cinematographers remain within an elite group that continues to thrive and give us some of the best artwork in cinema to this very day.