Explore the Unique Techniques DP Robert Yeoman Uses in His Cinematography

If you love the nostalgic look of Wes Anderson's films, that means you most definitely love the work of DP Robert Yeoman.

Yeoman's unique approach to cinematography makes him one hell of a DP. His creative approach to framing, lighting, and color are interesting to watch and even more interesting to study. In yet another excellent cinematography breakdown, Sareesh Sudhakaran of wolfcrow explores the work of Robert Yeoman, who is not only a frequent collaborator of Wes Anderson, but has also lensed such films as Drugstore CowboyThe Squid and the Whale, and this year's Ghostbuster reboot.

Like the majority of professional Hollywood cinematographers, Yeoman tailors his style according to the director he's working with, but I think most would agree that his collaborative efforts with Wes Anderson is where they both shine brightest. (I mean, to be fair, Yeoman has shot every single one of Anderson's films, so saying that can't really demand 100% fealty—but still!)

And part of making films with Anderson means knowing your way around film cameras and anamorphic lenses, which Yeoman does, and both help create the Wes Anderson universe most of us are all familiar with. In terms of lighting, one thing that is particularly striking is the way he lights faces. Sudhakaran goes into detail in his blog post:

Robert Yeoman prefers a single soft source (or many sources acting like a single source) from the side. He achieves this by bouncing off muslin or bounce cards, and maybe further diffusing them (a Book Light) with Silks/Light Grid, either quarter, half or full. He typically, but not often, tends to hair light from the opposite side, and it tends to have a specular nature. It’s subtle and not intended to call attention to itself. He also uses Kino flos or Chinese lanterns (China Balls) to fill in the actors’ faces.

What do you like about Robert Yeoman's approach to cinematography? Let us know in the comments.     

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