Brisbane Cinematographer Danny Camara Shakes Up Local Film Scene with a New Take

Mar 5, 2024

Danny Camara Shifts Gears. In 2023, the well-known Australian filmmaker and commercial ad director took a bold step, ditching the director’s hat to focus fully on cinematography. Learn more:


Danny Camara, a distinguished name in Australia’s film and commercial advertising industry, says his professional focus has switched from being the Director of a film project to being the Cinematographer (aka the Director of Photography).

When asked why he decided to shift his focus from directing, he said, “During my time as a Director/Cinematographer I was always finding myself focusing more on visual language and creating beautiful images. This led me to being hired several times a year solely as a Cinematographer for other Directors.”

 Mr Camara found himself more and more being drawn towards cinematography, and his heroes changed from being film directors to cinematographers. He loved hearing the top DPs tell their stories about their careers and how they developed their skills. Soon, the videos he watched on YouTube were all about cinematography. He soon realised he wanted to be a cinematographer, not a director.

 He said, “And although I’ve always worked in cinematography, I never promoted myself as a cinematographer. That officially changed last year.”

Of his continuous learning, Mr Camara said, “I spent a lot of time in 2023 studying cinematography techniques and learning the proper ways to expose an image to ensure the highest dynamic range and cleanest shadows/highlights.”

Mr Camara said this transition is already impacting his collaboration with other filmmakers. He said, “This transition will open me up to a new category of client: Directors. Previously my market was the Producers, Agencies, Companies, Brands, etc. But now I hope to meet new Directors, become a partner to tell their stories, and let their visions come to life. I would love to meet more passionate Directors and chat about how we can make bold, meaningful films.”

This shift has already allowed him to work on bigger projects with bigger teams alongside talented Directors from across Australia.

Mr Camara’s dedication to mastering cinematography techniques has been evident through his involvement in high-profile projects, including national TV commercials for Suncorp Insurance and Oaks Hotels, content creation for athletes like Patty Mills and Adam Scott, and music videos, showcasing his versatility and commitment to excellence.

When asked how his background in directing influence his perspective and techniques as a cinematographer, Mr Camara said, “Coming from being a Director to a Cinematographer gives me several useful skills such as knowing where to place the camera throughout the scene. The experience of Directing also helps me know how the shots will cut together in the edit, and how they’ll work with the music. The directing experience also helps me to  recognise story and emotion in a scene and knowing how to lens it.”

 Looking ahead to 2024, Mr Camara aims to further his impact as a cinematographer by engaging with more high-end projects and expanding his network within the industry. With this goal in mind, technological innovation remains at the forefront of Mr Camara’s practice.

The following recent acquisitions reflect his commitment to using cutting-edge technology to enhance his work:

· An Easyrig Vario 5 with Serene arm, for improved camera support, which will help holding a heavy camera for long periods of time.

· Nanlite Forza 720B, for enhanced lighting, a high-powered Bi-Color LED light. This, coupled with a big soft box, has become his main key light source on projects.

· A set of Dulens APO mini primes, for a unique visual aesthetic, which produce a clear yet vintage character with the practicality of a cinema lens.

For cameras, Mr Camara says, “I continue to shoot with RED and Canon, but am considering buying the new Sony Burano camera and entering the Sony ecosystem in late 2024. This camera looks incredibly promising with its 8.6k full frame sensor, autofocus, IBIS and the colour science of the flagship Sony Venice 2.”

Reflecting on the industry’s future, Mr Camara acknowledges the impact of technological advancements and keeps an eye on artificial intelligence. He recognizes the need to adapt to these innovations while maintaining the irreplaceable value of capturing genuine, human stories.

Mr Camara is committed to staying ahead in his field by embracing innovation and maintaining the heart of storytelling. He said, “ I’m currently developing a new showreel to present my work to directors and production companies both in my local area of Brisbane, Australia-wide, and overseas.”

Watch his current showreel here:

About Danny Camara

Danny Camara is a forward-thinking cinematographer who has shifted from Directing to fully focus on Cinematography. Known for his creativity, technical skill, and readiness to use the latest technology, Mr Camara is making a name for himself in the industry. Looking ahead, he's excited to tackle new challenges and leave a lasting impact on cinematography.

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