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Film Photography (5 replies and 1 comment)

Matthew Walker
8 months ago
Matthew Walker 8 months ago

Hello Roger,

I'm currently studying graphic design, but I'm very passionate for photography. Recently I've been creating some cinematic shots from photos I've taken with a standard DSLR camera. I was wondering if you could give me your opinion on a particular photo I've edited. What could I possibly change to give the shot a stronger sense of emotion?

I was also wondering, visually, what was your favourite movie to release in 2017?

Thank you, I'm a huge fan of your work. 

 

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Flower.jpg
Roger Deakins
8 months ago
Roger Deakins 8 months ago

That's a hard question as I am not sure what 'emotion' you are trying to convey. If there was a petal lying on the table it would make a different statement. If the bed to the right of frame was more visible and the pillows were mussed up it would also say something else. A hard shaft of sunlight raking across the table leaving the rest of the shot in shadow would say something else again.

As to my favorite movie of 2017! I find it hard to think of a single movie of 2017 that could stand against any one of a dozen made in 1969, for instance. I am looking forward to seeing Zvyagintev's 'Loveless' as I though 'Leviathan' was pretty much a masterpiece.

B
8 months ago
B 8 months ago

You've mentioned 'Leviathan' several times and I'm wondering, could you articulate what moved you so deeply about this film?

I saw it once the year it came out and although I plan to watch it again at some point, I cannot honestly say it's stuck with me. I remember being more impressed with his earlier film, 'The Return'. I saw 'Elena' as well which was interesting but I think I found that to be the least interesting of the three.

But I promise I will return to 'Leviathan'!

Roger Deakins
8 months ago
Roger Deakins 8 months ago

I think 'Leviathan' is a far more complex and emotionally engaging film than 'The Return'. The later film seem to me such a conceit. Why would the father not explain his absence? Why would the boys not insist on knowing? Why does the McGuffin stay an unexplained box? Is it Pandora's Box as per 'Kiss Me Deadly'? It is all a little too obscure and calculated.

'Leviathan' portrays another world (from my US perspective that is) but it is one of social and moral decay that is sadly very familiar.

Matthew Walker
7 months ago
Matthew Walker 7 months ago

Hi Roger,

Thank you very much for the reply despite my vague question!

I discovered that you studied graphic design earlier in your life, and I was wondering, being a designer myself, what made you make the transition from graphic design to photography and film? 

I'm currently at a stage where I have an equal passion for design, photography and film combined, and I'm interested to know what influenced you to pursue film.  

 

Roger Deakins
7 months ago
Roger Deakins 7 months ago

I never really had an interest in graphic design. When I gained a place at Art College I was placed in the design course against my wishes. I initially wanted to be a painter but discovered photography as part of my design curriculum. Photography was only being taught as a 'recording' medium for design work at that time but Roger Mayne, one of Britian's finest street photographers, lectured for a while and I broke out from design. I even forged a key to the college darkroom so that I could work there at night without interference.

Chris_O
6 months ago

Crikey, I went through the same thing - joined art college with the intention of learning how to paint (all I wanted to do was paint impressionist scenes all day! Ha) but was placed on a design course (which included a brief photography element) that I never gelled with.

Found photography nearly 15 years later. Wish I'd stuck at it back then.

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