Go Behind the Scenes of ‘Photographer’ (And Find Out What Camera They Used)

The director of photography for Nat Geo’s new Photographer series says there’s no easier subject matter for cinematographers than photographers.

Michael Crommett, who is the director of photography for the Dan Winters episode and was co-director of photography in several other episodes, says that making a documentary about photographers is “easy” to make visually interesting.

Crommett also says making the series gave him a newfound respect for photographers. “I see them as vital, they are going to the places and subject matter that need to be portrayed.”

“There’s an old expression in photography, the old ‘f/8 and be there’,” he adds. “This idea that all the technical details are not necessarily important but if you get the moment that’s the most important thing.”

What Cameras Did They Use to Film Photographer?

“We mainly used a Sony FX6,” Crommett explains in an Adorama behind-the-scenes video. “This was for a variety of reasons, one is it’s a pretty compact camera compared to other cameras of similar quality.

“This allowed, in the case of the Krystle Wright episode, for me to jump in and out of vehicles when we were chasing storms in the Midwest. When the camera is smaller, it frees me up to get more interesting compositions.

“One of the key elements for me with the Sony FX6 is the variable ND. That has completely revolutionized the way I shoot. I think there are two main reasons why, one is you can choose an f-stop that you want to shoot at and you can stick to that f-stop no matter what the lighting conditions.

“The other thing is that it’s always a linear exposure change when you change the variable ND so if you need to fix an exposure adjustment in post, it’s just a simple matter of a linear brightness adjustment as opposed to an iris rack which would change the depth of field, contrast, all these other things.”

Photographer is created and produced by Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi’s production company, Little Monster Films. It took around three years to make the docu-series.

Photographer is out now and available on streaming services Disney+ and Hulu.