Oscar-winning Hungarian-US cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond
Budapest - Arab Today
Hungarian-born cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, who won an Oscar for his work on "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", opened the first solo exhibition of his photos in Budapest on Friday.
"It's a fantastic feeling to have what is my first ever real exhibition," the 84-year-old told reporters Friday at the "Photographed by Vilmos Zsigmond" exhibition which runs until June 21 at the Ludwig Museum in the Hungarian capital.
The 150 mainly black-and-white photographs, spanning six decades and featuring locations from around the world, were taken whenever he had some rare spare time while on location making films, Zsigmond explained.
"This is my hobby," he said with a smile.
During an illustrious career, the Hungarian-American won a Best Cinematography Oscar in 1977 for his work on "Close Encounters", Steven Spielberg's sci-fi epic.
He was also nominated for Oscars for his cinematography in "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and "The River" (1984).
"Filmmaking is teamwork, but with photography, you are director, cameraman and producer all at the same time," Zsigmond said.
"This is my work only, that's what I love about these pictures," he added.
After graduating in Budapest in cinematography in 1955, Zsigmond left his native Hungary one year later during the failed anti-Soviet uprising, and became a naturalised US citizen in 1962.
From the beginning of the 1970s he worked with groundbreaking directors like Robert Altman, John Boorman, Michael Cimino and Spielberg.
He was honoured with lifetime achievement awards by the American Society of Cinematographers in 1999, and by the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.
"His trademark was bringing Hollywood films out of studios, and shooting outside," Pierre Filmon, a French director making a documentary about Zsigmond, told AFP Friday.
"He gives movies soul, which you can also see in the texture, density and colour of these photographs as well," Filmon said.