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Frederick Elmes’ interest in photography began when his father gave him his Leica camera. Soon after – he built his own darkroom to gain more control over his images. Turning home movies into theatrical productions – he became an avid cinematographer – winning student filmmaking awards along the way.
Elmes studied fine art photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology and The George Eastman House. He then pursued his passion for cinema earning a Masters in Fine Art from New York University where he studied under Beda Batka – an accomplished Czech cinematographer. Batka impressed upon him that cinematography was all about using the camera to tell a story.
Combined with his education and a great admiration for the work of Ingmar Bergman’s cinematographer Sven Nykvist – Elmes embarked on his career as Director of Photography. Offered a fellowship at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles – he was fortunate to meet and work with two icons of independent cinema – John Cassavetes and David Lynch. These two early influences would inform his work throughout his career.
His work – which in addition to feature-length narrative films includes documentary – television and commercial films – has taken him all over the country and the world. He has worked in Mexico – Latin America – Europe and South America and Asia.
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