DEFINITION September 2022 - Web


Not sure you’re in the right job? Neither was Krystian Winszewski. Today, he’s an in-demand DOP, with CVP integral to his journey

KRYSTIAN WINSZEWSKI’S ADVICE to those considering a career as a DOP couldn’t be more succinct. “Don’t think about it, just do it,” he advises. “Too many talk about it, then never do anything. Follow your dream!” If anyone should know, it’s Winszewski. Around 16 years ago, he was working full- time in construction and doing well. He had his own business and site-managed major projects – hospitals, schools, universities. But despite being financially stable, it wasn’t enough. “I was making money, looking after my family, but wasn’t happy,” he explains. “Creating images and movies excited me. I was in my mid-30s and realised if I didn’t make a change then, I’d never do it. So I began a slow transition, starting with taking more pictures, then progressing to movies.” Already a keen photographer, Winszewski did the obvious and initially focused on making images of his family.

As his confidence grew, so did his portfolio, then his contacts. The real turning point came not with the opportunity of work, but the purchase of a camera. He bought a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and, unwittingly, started defining a visual approach that he maintains to this day. “The 5D Mark II was a lovely full-frame camera. For me, that’s the best format. Super 35 is fantastic, Super 16 is great, but full-frame has something I love,” he admits. “It’s the closest to the way we see the world, plus the big sensor and fast lenses create very creamy bokeh; it makes things more beautiful than real life. “It inspires,” he continues. “Some focus pullers hate me because working in full-frame demands precision, but they learn a lot because I shoot most of my stuff wide open. That’s the price you pay; it’s harder, but get full-frame right and it looks amazing.” MAKING THE SWITCH As time progressed, Winszewski started to pick up work and, as earnings grew, so did his camera needs. He turned to CVP, first buying a C500 Mark II, then a C300. “I could use the lenses from my 5D Mark II, but the transition from stills to video was a challenge,” he confesses. “My knowledge of lighting and composition from stills did help in film, but it was more about telling stories. In a few seconds of film, you can switch from one object to another and tell the story in-between; with stills, you’re missing that link. You’re also creating just one image and can do a lot with that in post. With film, you’re dealing with 25 images per second, so you need to be really careful in what you do to cut down post work. “Looking back, I did lots wrong – I was trying to do everything myself,” he continues. “If you have the knowledge, that’s fine, but you won’t have enough time in the day to do it all – it’s about teamwork. Over the years, I’ve learned to work with a small crew. You can create amazing

RISING TO THE OCCASION Despite some long hours, Winszewski loves the thrills of DOP work


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