The Greatest Film Directors Photographers Don't Know but Probably Should

Film directors are a great source of inspiration that photographers should be taking advantage of more often. Here are 11 of the greatest directors that you've probably never heard of but really should know about.

Watching a good movie can be one of the most useful things a photographer can do to further their practice. In the space of a few hours, you can go from having no clue what your next shoot will be to bursting at the seams with ideas. Anything from the subject matter to the composition, to the props, or even the lighting in a film can be enough to get the juices flowing. This is why being exposed to a varied mix of mediums other than photography is always a good way to expand the mind. If you were to ask people around you who their favorite film directors were, I'm sure many of the big household names would crop up. While there is nothing wrong with a list like that, casting your net a little wider will help you to find some more obscure directors who may not have been on your radar. By trying to be exposed to work that is lesser known, you give yourself a greater chance that the ideas you get for your photography don't already have a lot of mileage.

To help with the task of finding more obscure directors, the team over at The Cinema Cartography has drawn up a great list of recommendations from around the world. Over the space of 40 minutes, 11 very different directors are championed to us in a clear and concise way. One thing I always love about their videos is that they are jam-packed with wonderful visuals from films they are talking about. For this one reason alone, the many clips featured in the essay can be an inspiration in their own right.

It really is crazy how the smallest of details in a movie can be enough to get the cogs turning. If you're currently in need of some inspiration or just fancy watching something a little different on Netflix, I highly recommend you take a look at The Cinema Cartography's latest video. If you haven't heard of the likes of Lav Diaz, Theo Angelopoulos, or Maya Deren, then you are in for a treat.  

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Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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For those in a hurry, here is a full list of the directors featured in the video:

00:59 Lav Diaz
05:36 Andrzej Żuławski
09:07 Maya Deren
12:14 Glauber Rocha
15:59 Theo Angelopoulos
19:34 Matsumoto Toshio
23:14 Larisa Sheptiko
24:47 Nagisa Ōshima
27:17 Stan Brakhage
30:08 Djibril Diop Mambéty
33:10 František Vláčil

You can't have a good director without a good cinemaphotographer.

Don't forget the Director of Photography! Sometimes the same as the cinematographer, sometimes not.
What about Roger Deakins!

I agree. Roger Deakins is great

Thank you very much, Paul. "Film directors are a great source of inspiration", how very true!