December 19th, 2020

Cinematography in cinema is an art in itself. The cinematographer works with the director to figure out the color palette and overall look and feel of the film before it starts production. Over the years, they have given us countless iconic visuals that have stayed with us for the rest of time. In this article, we will delve into the Best Cinematographers in the Telugu Film Industry. 



Marcus Bartley: Argubaly the GOAT and probably the best of all time for Tollywood, he filmed all our iconic movies such as Maya Baazar, Pelli Chesi Choodu, Patala Bhairavi, Chandraharam, Missamma, Gundamma Katha and Jagadeka Veeruni Katha. He's originally from Maharasthra and landed in Madras and quickly became known for his expertise in black and white cinematography. 


PC Sreeram: If there's anyone who comes close to matching Bartley for the best of all time it has to be PC Sreeram. Fondly called the God of Cinematography by some, Sreeram's visuals speak for itself. Whether it be the UNREAL visuals in Ai in China or the visuals of Panchadannamey in Sakhi, he's done it all. His work is mostly in Tamil but his most notable Telugu movies are Geetanjali, Kushi, Ishq, Naa Nuvve, and his upcoming movie is Nithin's Rang De. 


KK Senthil Kumar: The biggest superstar cinematographer in Tollywood exclusively, Senthil Kumar is one of the best cameramen in the world. He's most known for his association with SS Rajamouli and he's done 7 of the director's 11 films so far missing out on Student No.1, Simhadri, Vikramarkudu, and Maryada Ramanna. Who can forget the visuals of Chatrapathi, Yamadonga, Eega, and of course the masterclass and iconic shots in Baahubali 1 and 2? His next movie is Indias most awaited movie RRR starring Ram Charan and Jr. NTR. And if the two teasers are anything to go by, the visuals are going to be unlimited goosebumps. 


KV Guhan: My favorite cinematographer ever, Guhan has done so many classic Telugu movies and is best known for his association with Sreenu Vaitla and Trivikram. His work includes the masterpiece Athadu in which the songs and visuals have become an iconic part of Telugu cinema, Jalsa, parts of Khaleja, all time classic Dookudu, Baadshah, SVSC, Aagadu, Nani, Jawaan, and Mister. Mister sucked but everybody agreed the oustanding visuals from Guhan was the only saving grace. He's recently become a director and made his debut in 2019 with the movie 118 starring Kalyan Ram. 


R Rathnavelu: The star cinematographer is one of the best in India and shot to fame with Allu Arjun's iconic Arya. He's best known for his association with director Sukumar having done all his films except Arya 2 and Nannaku Prematho. His work includes industry hit Rangasthalam which has incredible visuals throughout, 1 Nenokkadine which was also a visual feast, Sarileru Neekevvaru capturing the Konda Reddy Buruju in all it's glory. Robo with Rajinikanth, Jagadam, 100% Love, Kumar 21F, Khaidi No. 150, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and the torture device that is Brahmotsavam. His upcoming movie is Shankar's Indian 2. Miroslaw Kuba Brojek who filmed Nani's Gang Leader is doing Pushpa next so he will not be reteaming with Sukumar again. 


PS Vinod: Another one of TFI's best, PS Vinod is known for his amazing visuals in so many Telugu movies. He's recently started his association with Trivikram Srinivas having done Aravinda Sametha and most recently the visual feast that was Ala Vaikunthapurramlo. His other work includes Panjaa, Manam and Oopiri both of which he won Filmfare for Best Cinematographer Telugu, Dhruva, Hello, Soggade Chinni Nayana, and Rakta Charitra 1 and 2. His upcoming movie is Pawan Kalyan's Vakeel Saab, the Telugu remake of Pink. 


Madhie: Best known for his association with Koratala Siva, Madhie shot to fame with Mirchi and then also did industry hit Srimanthudu with Mahesh Babu. Both movies had fantastic visuals throughout in the songs and fight scenes and were loaded in beautiful colors. He gained another big opportunity with Saaho and despite the films failure, the sleek visuals and granduer of the film were appreciated. His next movie is Mahesh Babu's upcoming film Sarkaaru Vaari Paata. 


Chota K Naidu: He's actor Sundeep Kishan's uncle and Chota K Naidu has done countless Telugu movies and his work is usually flawless. Barring his offscreen antics like kissing Kajal on stage unexpectedly and cluthing onto Tamannah's hand for an extended period of time, the star cameraman is behind classics like Adhurs and Brindavanam. His work includes Choodalani Vundi, Daddy, Annayya, Aazad, Gangotri, Johnny, Tagore, Anji, Gudumba Shankar, Lakshmi, Aata, Raviteja's Krishna, Kotha Bangaru Lokam, Damarukam, Veera, Julayi, Naayak, Ramayya Vasthavayya, Alludu Seenu, Venkatadri Express, and Jai Lava Kusa. 


Shyam K Naidu: Chota's brother, the star cameraman is well known for his association with director Puri Jagannadh having done most of his iconic movies specifically industry hit Pokiri. His work includes Raja, Seenu, Ninne Premistha, Idiot, Tagore, Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammayi, Shivamani, ANdhrawala, Nagarjuna's Mass. Super. Desamuduru, Chirutha, Bujjigadu, Neninthe, Ek Niranjan, Nagavalli, Rajanna, Businessman, Bodyguard, Devudu Chesina Manushulu, Cameraman Gangatho Rambabu, Rabhasa, Temper, and Dictator. His upcoming movie is Narappa starring Venkatesh, the Telugu remake of Asuran. 


V Manikandan: Supposedly one of India's best cinematographers, Manikandan's only Telugu movie to date was the mockery that was Agnythaavasi with Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram. The movie was among the worst ever made but Manikandan's stunning visuals were the only good thing about the movie. His other work includes Om Shanti Om, Billu, Bluffmaster, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, and Aparichitudu. 


Prasad Murella: Another star cinematographer in Telugu, Prasad Murella is well known for his association with Sreenu Vaitla and Trivikram and was the cinematographer for Industry Hit Attarintiki Daredi with Pawan Kalyan. His first big Telugu movie was Raviteja's iconic Venky and his other work includes Dhee, Chandamama, Ready, King, Namo Venkatesa, S/O of Satyamurthy, Poola Rangadu, Katamarayudu, and recently Venky Mama. His next movie is Nani's upcoming film Tuck Jagadish directed by Shiva Nirvana. 


Ravi K Chandran: Another one of India's best cameramen, his only Telugu movie to date was Mahesh Babu's Bharat Ane Nenu but he left the project midway due to undisclosed reasons. However his other work can be seen in many other dubbed or Hindi films such as Boys, Ghajini Hindi, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, My Name is Khan, Agneepath 2012, and 7th Sense with Suriya. 


Ravi Varman: Another incredible cameraman, his only Telugu film to date is Allu Arjun's Badrinath. His other work includes Aparichitudu, Daasavatharam, Raghavan, Barfi, Ram Leela, Cheliya, and Sanju. His upcoming movie is Mani Ratnam's Ponniyin Selvan. 


Santosh Sivan: One of the most acclaimed cinematographers and directors in India, Santosh Sivan is a legend across India yet his only Telugu movie to date was Mahesh Babu's Spyder which was very unfortunate because the output was atrocious as we all know. His work includes the directorials Ashoka with SRK and Urumi with Prithviraj Sukumaran and has filmed movies such as Roja, Thalapathi, Dil Se, Thuppaki, Anjaan, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam and recently Darbar. 


Tirru: Best known for his association with Koratala Siva, Tirru became famous in Tollywood when he was announced as the cinematographer for Janatha Garage and his work in the film was outstanding. He first gained attention in Telugu when he did 24 with Suriya and has since done Bharat Ane Nenu, Petta, and his work can be seen next in Megastar Chiranjeevi's upcoming social drama Acharya directed by Koratala Siva. 


KU Mohanan: Mohanan made his debut in Telugu cinema last year with Mahesh Babu's Maharshi. Given the massive budget and scale of the movie his work was simply incredible and gave the film a very grand look in terms of visuals. He's mostly known for his works in Bollywood for movies such as Don remake with SRK, Talaash, Fukrey, Raees, and Andhadhun. 


Manoj Paramahamsa: Manoj made his debut in Ye Maya Chesave and has since gone onto work in some of Tollywood's biggest projects such as Race Gurram and Bruce Lee The Fighter. His work in both movies was exceptional and he bagged the biggest opportunity of his career when he announced as the cinematographer for Prabhas' next movie Radhe Shyam. Looking forward to his work in the Pan Indian project. 


Sameer Reddy: Another prominent cameraman in Telugu Cinema is Sameer Reddy. He has worked for countless Telugu movies as well and his visuals never dissapoint. They include Jayam, Anandam, Naa Autograph, Malliswari, Nijam, Manmadhudu, Yogi, Athidhi, Kantri, Josh, Don Seenu, Shakthi with NTR, Govindudu Andari Vadele, Pandaga Chesko, Nenu Sailaja, Vunnadi Okkate Zindagi, Hyper, Shatamanam Bhavati, MCA, F2, and his upcoming movie is Ram's RED, the Telugu remake of Thadam. 


Jayanan Vincent: One the most experienced cameramen in India, Vincent's filmography includes Premante Idera, Rajukumarudu, Takkari Donga, Teenmaar, Gabbar Singh, Balupu, Power, and Gopala Gopala. Copyrighted Photos

Natarajan Subramaniam: He hails from Tamil Nadu and is best known as the cameraman for Trivikram's A Aa. One can't forget the beautiful visuals of Pollachi in the beginning and throughout the rest of the movie. 


PG Vinda: Best known for his association with Mohankrishna Indraganti, Vinda has done all of his films except Mayabazar (no relation to the classic) and Golconda High School. His work includes Grahanam, Astha Chamma, Anthaka Mundu Aa Tarvatha, Gentleman, Ami Thumi, Sammohanam, V, Bandipotu, Vinayukudu and Puri Jagan's Loafer with Varun Tej. 


Arthur A Wilson: Originally from Tamil Nadu, Wilson has done many big Telugu movies such as Bhadra, Simha, Dhammu, Power, Sardaar Gabbar Singh and Vineya Vidheya Rama. 


Best known for his work in two Mahesh Babu movies - all time classic Okkadu and Arjun. 


Vijay C Kumar: Best known for his association with Sekhar Kammula, he's done all of his films. His works includes Dollar Dreams, Anand, Godavari, Andhrudu, Samanyudu, Dil, Happy Days, Leader, Life is Beautiful, Anamika, and Fidaa. His next film is Kammula's Love Story starring Naga Chaitanya and Sai Pallavi. 


Rishi Punjabi: Best known for his works with Boyapati Sreenu for Allu Arjun's Sarrainodu and Jaya Janaki Nayaka. 


C Ram Prasad: His works includes many notable Telugu movies such as Murari, Hanuman Junction, Aadi, Pellam oorelithe, Sri Anjaneyam, Athanokkade, Chakram, Munna, Maryada Ramanna, Mirapakay, Rebel, Yevadu, Legend, and Subramanyam for Sale. His next movie is the new Balayya Boyapati movie. 


Gnanashekar VS: Best known for his association with Krish, he's done all his films except Gamyam. His works include masterpiece Vedam, Krishnam Vande Jagadguram, Kanche, Majnu, Gautamiputra Satakarni, Anthariksham 9000 KMPH, NTR biopic part 1 and 2. His next movie is the upcoming Krish and Pawan Kalyan period drama. 


Vijay C Chakravarthy: Best known as the cameraman man for all time classic Bommarillu, his other works include big Telugu movies such as Parugu, Mr. Perfect, and Nannaku Prematho and Konchem Istham Konchem Kashtam, Oye, Oh My Friend, Sarocharu, Lerintha, and Hello Guru Prema Kosame. 


Sarvesh Murari: Best known as the cameraman for Raviteja's all time classic Vikramarkudu, his other works include Nagarjuna's Ragada, Ontari, Prayanam, Kedi, Nippu, Action 3D, and Doosukeltha. 


Nizar Shafi: Best known for his association with Maruthi, he's done Bhale Bhale Magadivoi, Mahanubhavudu, and Sailaja Reddy Alludu. In additon he was the cameraman for Nani's blockbuster Nenu Local. 


Shaniel Deo: The Indian American is best known for his association with Adivi Sesh having worked on Kshanam and Goodachari. His other works include Krishna and His Leela and Nishabdam. His upcoming movie is Wild Dog with Nagarjuna. 


Ayananka Bose: Having filmed most of his movies in Bollywood, he's best known for his association with Harish Shankar in Tollywood having shot Duvvada Jaggandham and Gaddhalakonda Ganesh. His upcoming movie with PK28 with Pawan Kalyan and Harish Shankar. 


Karthik Ghattamaneni: Karthik made his debut as a director with Nikhil starrer Surya vs Surya and as a cinematographer his works include Karthikeya, Express Raja, Premam, Radha, Ninnu Kori, Awe!, Krishnarjuna Yuddham, Chitralahari, and Disco Raja. His next movie is Karthikeya 2.