February 22, 2014

Master Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is on Instagram (And His Photos Are Incredible)

Emmanuel LubezkiFollowing celebrities on Instagram is nothing new. I'm sure you or someone you know religiously (and/or secretly) checks out Rihanna's, Kim Kardashian's, or even the Biebs' posts, but if you're like me and you haven't quite jumped on the "Instagram as social media" train, you may want to make an exception. Six-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, one of the greatest DPs of our time, not only uses his exceptional eye for moving images, but for stills that he posts quietly on Instagram.

I have this -- I guess you could call it a dream -- of finding that perfect song, film, and book out of all of the songs, films, and books in existence that is undoubtedly the best I've ever heard, seen, and read. They're out there somewhere, I just have to rifle through centuries worth of creations. The internet is the same way; I'm always wondering what I'm missing. For all I know, some old, never before seen footage of Kubrick exists on some random fan-curated website, where he offers personal masterclasses on how to make films. (A girl can dream.)

Lubezki's Instagram is one of those hidden Internet gems -- this profile that once existed in relative anonymity, became a bit of a mystery that was in the process of being uncovered. As this article from Slate states:

As his viewership grew -- he currently has a relatively modest 4,900 followers—and hundreds more images were loaded, a few of which offered keyholes into his high-profile work for Hollywood, there became a sense that a case was being solved, crystalized by a user comment that accompanies an image of a stand-in wearing a spacesuit on the set of Gravity: “bro I dunno but I think this might be Lubezki’s ig.”

You can see Lubezki's aesthetic sensibilities in not only his work on Gravity, but also A Little PrincessSleepy Hollow, The New WorldChildren of Men, and The Tree of Life, all of which got him a nomination for an Academy Award. Knowing that such a master of the craft has a collection of personal photos on an app that you look at when you're in line at the bank is truly incredible and exciting.

Below is a selection of several of Lubezki's Instagram photos -- let me say that again in a different way. Below is a selection of several Instagram photos from the Instagram account of one of the greatest cinematographers working today, who has been nominated for six Oscars, and who worked on one of the most technologically advanced/complex/creative films of the year. Yes -- that individual is sharing his personal (and beautiful) photos on social media, and adding to the collection regularly.

One of my favorite things about Lubezki's Instagram is directly related to what I explained earlier -- my desire to find things that aren't necessarily hidden, but aren't necessarily out in the open. The cinematographer doesn't say much about his photos, nor does he respond much to comments, but occasionally he will, and this led me to wonder if he shared which cameras he used to capture each photo (he obviously wasn't using just an iPhone on most of them). After some obsessive digging through his 400+ photos, I found the answer -- his answer to the same question posted on one of his photos. He uses an iPhone 5, Ricoh GR, and a Nikon D800, shooting with a 28mm or 24mm lens. (I also read a response he made on a different photo that he uses the Snapseed app for post.)

So, check out Lubezki's Instagram and get a more well-rounded idea of what the world looks like through a master's eyes.

What do you think of Chivo's Instagram photos? Do you use Instagram to post your best photographic work, or is your photo stream reserved for pictures of plates of food and cats? Let us know in the comments below.

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64 Comments

doesn't look like these were taken with an iphone...

February 22, 2014 at 3:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mike

Read the article, Lubezki stated that he uses an iPhone 5, a Ricoh GR and a Nikon D800 with 24 and 28mm lenses...

February 22, 2014 at 5:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Matheus

Right, but the idea of Instagram is to upload photos taken by your phone.

February 22, 2014 at 6:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mike

agree 200%

February 22, 2014 at 7:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Alex and Tom

No.

February 22, 2014 at 7:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel

Says who? Who cares? Why does it matter?

February 22, 2014 at 10:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Instagram is an app for iphone photos. Not a portfolio for your slr photos. that's my point.

February 23, 2014 at 1:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mike

Says who? Who cares? Why does it matter?

February 24, 2014 at 8:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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From the horse's mouth: "Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family.
Take a picture or video, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram — it's that easy. You can even share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more. It's a new way to see the world."
Doesn't say anywhere that the stuff you post has to come from an iphone...

February 23, 2014 at 2:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Raul

My brother, for example (@ineverstoppedlooking) often takes the photo with his Fuji X100S with a Wi-Fi card and sends it straight to his phone.

February 24, 2014 at 3:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Samu Amunét

They're good pictures, but I wouldn't call them outstanding. Great cinematographer none the less.

February 22, 2014 at 4:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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fufg

+1

February 22, 2014 at 4:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Hamid

+1

February 22, 2014 at 7:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Alex and Tom

+1

February 24, 2014 at 5:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ricky

I am a photographer since 1992, working for all sorts of companies.
Everone that says this is nothing special, is very wrong!
This is extraordinary, very outstanding!

February 22, 2014 at 4:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Exactly. And I am not a cinematographer. :)

February 22, 2014 at 6:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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TheJungle

Very nice portrait shots in natural settings. It's sortof interesting in another way... many of the subjects feel like they are being told to pose or hold a pose or some sort of direction. That's not a bad thing at all, it tells its own sort of story... just think it's interesting. I wonder how much of that is being used to working with actors who you can tell to hold a pose or some objective direction and they can make it look natural.

February 23, 2014 at 5:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kinda bullshit. Nice photos sure, but he's just uploading stuff he took with a DSLR. I wanna see incredible stuff he can shoot with a phone. Uploading great stuff taken with a $5,000 camera is kinda cheating at instagram.

February 22, 2014 at 4:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Cheating? You obviously don't follow the right people on Instagram. Instagram isn't only for iPhone shots, there are a lot of amazing professional photographers as well. It's not the camera that makes the photo great , but the photographer.

February 22, 2014 at 5:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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rachel

Said right!

February 22, 2014 at 6:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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TheJungle

Oh for fuck's sake. Are you serious? You don't find it the least bit interesting that one of the world's most accomplished cinematographers has an accessible online photo stream?

February 22, 2014 at 7:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Shawn

y not use flickr thou? oh right ,its no the hip thing right now even though people over there have been working for years on sociability/user experience..

February 23, 2014 at 5:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Pat

I agree with Bill Streeter

February 22, 2014 at 7:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Tim Tom

Half or more of the appeal of Instagram is its social networking and sharing functionality; it's not all about discernibly mobile photography, 1:1 aspect ratios, and filters.
Besides, the application and website may have been oriented around mobile phone photography, but if Instagram really wanted users to only be able to post phone photos, they wouldn't have allowed them to upload from other sources.

February 23, 2014 at 12:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mr. Blah

I was kinda hoping not to come across people who believe higher priced cameras equal better pictures at least in this environment, it is sad enough most clients think this way.
You'd probably also think that when you have a meal by great chef it tastes that good because it was done on a more expensive cooker then the one you have at home...

February 23, 2014 at 12:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Raul

Well said Raul.

February 23, 2014 at 9:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Shawn

What, no cats?

February 22, 2014 at 4:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

Am I allowed to take a selfie with my Horseman 8x10 view camera that weighs 50 pounds on Kodak Portra 160 film, then get a 600 megapixel drum scan that is 3 gigabytes in size, then resize it until it's only 100 kilobytes, then upload it to instagram? Am I doing it right?

February 22, 2014 at 6:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Robert

Yeah, you are... So go do it.

January 7, 2015 at 9:37AM

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There is respect and loyalty to people working at that level. Hans Zimmer could crap in a microphone and his soundcloud would erupt with "brilliant!".

February 22, 2014 at 8:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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XML

cough* beuys *cough

February 23, 2014 at 5:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Pat

BRRRRRRRRRRRMMMMM

February 23, 2014 at 6:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Natt

Regardless of the format each of the images in the post have a beautiful respect to the TIMING of the light, stunning I say!

February 22, 2014 at 9:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ash

So what you're saying is that even if he wasn't a superstar DOP he'd be an award-winning photojournalist?
Agreed. Stunning work. He's annoyingly talented.

/I actually laughed out loud at some of the negative comments.
You couldn't sound more naive, infantile or ignorant if you tried.

February 22, 2014 at 9:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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marklondon

Agreed. Much jealousy and closed mindedness in the comments here. Stunning photos.

February 23, 2014 at 5:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Haroun Souirji

I know it's not cool to like things anymore, but this is great. There's just something that's so great about having such access to people working at this level. Stuff like this, and Deakins' forum are what make the internet great.

Do not care what camera he takes these on; I'm glad he's sharing them for all of us, and giving us some interaction on Instagram.

February 22, 2014 at 10:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Sure, great photos. But incredible I would rather call these ("100% iPhone"):
http://instagram.com/jasonmpeterson

February 23, 2014 at 12:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Those are great photos. But almost none seems spontaneous. They seem thoroughly planned and beautifully executed, a great example of 'the camera doesn't matter'. That's a photographer who will get a great shot with any camera, because of all the preparation.
You get the idea that Chivo happens to pull out the camera when he's on set, scouting, or heading to/leaving set and sees something. Then poof! He's got these beautiful lit shots.

February 23, 2014 at 3:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Charlie

Turning Instagram into the next Flickr.
Just share your photos on Flickr if you want people to kiss your ass. Leave Instagram to the iPhone/cell phone photo people. Its for candid quick shots.

"Hey look at me!? Look over here!? Hey..."

You dont see any of these DSLR "advertising ready" photos on Phillip Blooms feed.

February 23, 2014 at 2:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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The Licker

lets not go there.... philip bloom, clearly has no place in the same conversation. Not knocking him, his work is ok. But he is a videographer more than a cinematographer. He does, however, do the best camera reviews.

February 24, 2014 at 4:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jack

No, I suppose there are no rules about just phone cameras on Instagram, but non square, low resolution, stamp sized dslr shots seems like such a waste on that site.

Why not post to 500px (or even Flickr) instead?

February 23, 2014 at 4:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jonas

I read this article, I think it's going to be done with an iPhone.

I think, "Wow - the playing field is levelled, just what can this guy do with the same off-the-shelf equipment I've got".
Then I see the images, and I know this are pro cameras / lenses being used.

So, yes - Instagram can be used with any camera. But that doesn't stop me feeling cheated by this article.

February 23, 2014 at 5:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Fresno Bob

The gear doesn't matter one bit. Go look at the photo work of Mark Romanek on his Twitter account. Their amazing, and all of them have been shot on an Iphone.

February 23, 2014 at 8:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Bolex16

Chivo is for sure one talented son of a gun.

February 23, 2014 at 6:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Natt

February 23, 2014 at 10:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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guto novo

A lot of pretense in the comments, and unfortunately none of it constructive.

February 23, 2014 at 11:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Grant

The nofilmschool comment section is so depressing. Who gives a fuck what he shot them with. Hes a master and chances are no one in this comment section will eclipse what he has accomplished. People dont check flickr on their phones i dont know a single person who does that but almost everyone I know has instagram.

Reed Morano ASC also has instagram and posts work shot in a variety of formats and its great regardless.

February 23, 2014 at 5:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Carlos

Yeah I'm pretty close to ignoring the comment section altogether.

February 23, 2014 at 5:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Coty

After reading the comments I have to chime in here.. this gentleman is a gifted photographer/cinamatographer, his instagram pics are beautiful it doesn't matter what camera he used. The only suggestion I would've made was for him to add #nofilter at the end of every photo he uploads. But Jeez, lighten up folks, follow chivexp, get inspired go out and create beautiful photos on instagram or at least share your own shit before making any snide comments on this post. Instagram/Marino215...see? Now let's see what you got. :)

February 23, 2014 at 7:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony Marino

A man shares his photos on a social networking platform (designed for sharing photos no less), and then gets criticized for what gear he used.

Sounds like the awful fanboyism of NFS Comments.

Just the simple pretense that one must have to demand that an artists work within a medium acceptable to one individual is mind-blowing.

February 25, 2014 at 6:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Steve JL

"the idea" ? ? ?
you have no idea ...

June 9, 2014 at 2:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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yeahplease

Bitter much?

June 9, 2014 at 2:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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NDB

x1

June 9, 2014 at 2:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Rodrigo Molinsky

Such a small world! Your brother (@ineverstoppedlooking) and I (@omcentire) follow each other! Crazy.

June 9, 2014 at 2:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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the elephant in the room is, why should instagram mean anything or be considered an important step in photography? It's a silly fad. Get over it already. Nothing to do with talent. Instagram will be dead and no one will remember its purpose.

June 9, 2014 at 3:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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chang

Just realized that it's a friend of mine who asked him the question haha!

June 9, 2014 at 3:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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You can take photos with what ever camera you want to on any website or anything, and show some respect, its Emmanuel Lubezki, he won an Oscar this year, plus many other nominations in the past for Best Cinematography.

June 10, 2014 at 11:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Patrick

Reviews On wholesale cheap Rams jerseys

June 20, 2014 at 12:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Great article! Actually, the other day I was looking for someone cinema related to follow on instagram - and here you go! Any more recommendations of directors or dps to follow? Thanks.

August 10, 2014 at 10:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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High priced cameras ARE better (hence the price difference). What makes the photographer good/bad/excellent is how he uses the camera/phone he owns (in spite of its shortcomings or creatively using them).

That said, there are photos that couldn't be taken with a lousy camera.

For all of the instagram defenders, it is mostly associated with camera phone photos and until it changes it will look like cheating when someone posts a dslr photos. But then again I'm older generation, who discovered Instagram only few years back ;)

At the end, the photos shown above are good (the men is a great cinematographer, for god's sake) but there are a lot of similar or better photos by great PHOTOGRAPHERS out there.

That said, I wil start to follow his work on instagram :)

August 10, 2014 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Srdjan

He's also a master Photoshop artist.

August 11, 2014 at 1:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chivo, I miss you man.

August 11, 2014 at 6:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mike Diersing

Viva México, Chivo.

January 7, 2015 at 4:23AM

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avatar
Raoul M.
Visual Artist/Writer
81

The amazing shots on "To The Wonder" movie took my attention and then I looked who was responsible for this then I saw "Gravity" on his IMDB credits too which is definitely my all time favorite movie. His Instagram is like a photography class and as a self taught photographer I'd love to work with him to learn more and more.

I'm using Instagram to share my best work too and here is my humble portfolio if anyone interested in: http://instagram.com/keremgo3d/

January 10, 2015 at 2:08PM, Edited January 10, 2:08PM

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avatar
Kerem
Photographer
74