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BYWAYS. Photographs by Roger A Deakins

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Two-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins is best known for his effective and simple camera work on films such as “Skyfall,” “Blade Runner 2049” and “1917,” on which he collaborated with directors such as Sam Mendes and Denis Villeneuve. Byways started as something specific and became more about things I have observed throughout my life.

My work as a cinematographer is a collaborative experience and, at least when a film is successful, the results are seen by a wide audience.Even if you've never heard of the man and are keen on collecting monographs, street or film photography, I'd say it's worth picking up as it's a great addition to any collection. His British colleagues have honored him with 11 nominations and seven wins at British Society of Cinematographers events. Others are images that caught his eye as walked on a weekend, or catching the last of the light at the end of a day’s filming whilst working on projects in cities such as Berlin or Budapest, on Sicario in New Mexico, Skyfall in Scotland and in England in 1917. Sometimes an image is more literal in a way and I can understand what’s drawing me to it, but that is not.

This is the book of quiet moments by someone who has the ability to capture scenes that make my heart rush. It’s meant as a compliment to both Deakins the photographer and Deakins the cinematographer to say that so many of these images could be mistaken for film stills. I toyed with the idea of publishing a book on the English seaside, but I thought it might take forever to gather enough photos that I felt confident about.

I just love wandering which means I also take photographs during my time off when we’re shooting in places like New Mexico or Berlin.

Byways, his first book, features moments captured from the ‘70s to the present day, with a focus on the coastal and rural splendour of the southwest of England alongside other aspects of life observed along the way. One of his first jobs was as a still photographer for the Beaford Arts Centre in North Devon, England.

With black-and-white images, the viewer looks at the content and the composition of the light more than anything else. I wanted it to be free of my work as a cinematographer, so it was really great when Damiani came to me and said they liked the photos. However, for Deakins, photography has often been a solitary endeavor, an antidote to the ‘enjoyable’ yet intensely collaborative process of working on films. In this book, the interplay with people and their environment creates a narrative in nearly every image. It contains Roger's still photography over the years from various places, with a strong focus on his early life in the southwest of England.

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