Jump to content

DP still photo questions while on set.

Recommended Posts

Do DP's ever do their own still photography to document the film for their own record...or is it frowned upon? I'm not talking about grabbing a fast shot with the cell phone, I mean a few hundred or a thousand photos.

Now, if it is OK for the DP to do their own still work, maybe the DP is too busy to do it?

If it is not common practice for the DP to shoot much still work; can the DP get free access to all the still photos taken by the official still photographer for the movie?






Selection from Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Fashion & Hair Archive

Screenshot: Google image search

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Small Gauge Film Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Advertising Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. VHS Video Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Popular Culture Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Audio Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Social Documentary Photography
Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

A long while ago we sometimes would take Polaroids on set for various purposes. I would say, these days, no it is not common to have a DoP taking stills-- especially as that is someone else's job. The odd grab here and there, sure, production permitting, but doing a whole shoot-- no not gonna happen. Free access to ALL the photos-- no probably not going to happen either. Asking to have a look and grabbing a few-- maybe-- depending again, on the production and what they are doing with them. Generally, though, no, all that is the property of the shoot and they often do not want any of that getting out before a release. After release, much more likely.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Adrian Sierkowski what would the DPs use the Polaroids on set for back then? Is it to judge exposure and contrast ratios? 

I think I remember reading somewhere that Kubrick used to take polaroids before every scene to check roughly what it would look like but I am not sure maybe I am making this up. Another thing that again I am not sure if I am making it up is that Matthew Libatique apparently used a 5D with a "film" lut on it to judge exposure too. 

Anyway I am curious on what you meant. 


Edited by Boris Kalaidjiev
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

Less exposure but more contrast. Also they were often taken for continuity. One of the reasons I did it when I did it was really over colors more so than contrast. I didn't own a 5d back then but now a days if I was going to shoot on film again I might grab a DSLR and get a jpeg just for peace of mind. If you can afford to have had a lut made up and loaded into a stills camera, then power to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Boris Kalaidjiev said:

Kubrick used to take polaroids

Indeed he did. The famous example is "2001" where he worked out a scheme with Geoffrey Unsworth to establish a relationship between the exposure of the (then peel-apart b/w) Polaroid and the 65mm. exposure. The famous example is the the high-key bedroom scene towards the end. They have the shutter speed and stop written on them.

But there are examples from several of his films. Just search on "Kubrick Polaroid"..

Edited by Mark Dunn
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...