“I’ve been trying to work in color, and I just can’t do it. I just find it uninteresting!”
These aren’t words you’d expect to hear from Roger Deakins, the Oscar-winning cinematographer behind films like Blade Runner 2049, Skyfall and Sicario.
But he’s not talking about his movies. He’s talking about his photography—which we’ll get a first glimpse of when his book Byways is published later this month.
Out Oct. 19, Byways is a collection of roughly 150 black-and-white photos taken by Deakins. He rarely shares his still photography work with the public, even though he’s been snapping since the early 1970s.
Deakins insists it’s been a fairly casual hobby. “The photographs that I take for my own pleasure are quite few, really,” he shares in an interview with Artnet, adding that he’s barely had the time during a very busy cinematography career.
One look at a few of the book’s previewed images clues us in that, despite insisting he’s not a photographer, he’s quite good at taking photos. That’s probably due to the fact that Deakins appreciates film and photography as entirely different mediums.
“You look at photographs, and there’s a story within them. You can’t really do that in a movie because those frames keep moving. You can’t make the frames too complex, because you’re telling the story as a composite. It’s a different way of communicating.”
To hear more of Deakins’ candid insights—as well as the story of how he was rejected from film school when he first applied?!—read his full interview with Artnet here.