Steven Spielberg has Diane Keaton to thank for opening his eyes to the work of cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. The director happened to see Keaton's TV movie "Wildflower" in 1991 and liked the photography so much, he hired Kaminski to shoot a TV movie for his company, Gregory Hoblit's "Class of '61." From there the two collaborated on 1993's "Schindler's List" and the rest was history.
Kaminski has shot 11 of Spielberg's features since, working almost exclusively with the director. "War Horse" is the latest example of their combined visual eye, a sweeping epic with nods to classic cinema and a fierce reverence for the landscape it captures.
Indeed, the environment is a key element of a cinematographer's arsenal. "An essential part of the job is to tell the story through non-verbal means," Kaminski says. "Placing the actor within their environment is essential not just from the cinematographer's point of view but from the storytelling point of view. So whether a character lives in Manhattan or whether he lives in Montana, it shapes him.