Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Cinematographers Branch) [2004-2007].
Member of the British Society of Cinematographers (BSC) since 1986, and the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) since 1994.
Received four American Society of Cinematographers Award nominations in the space of two years: for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) and No Country for Old Men (2007) in 2008, and for The Reader (2008) (shared with Chris Menges) and Revolutionary Road (2008) in 2009.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to Film.
As of 2015, he finds, among his work, The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) is the most cohesive as a piece of visual interpretation.
His artistically inclined mother was an actress and amateur painter.
Filmed anthropological documentaries in India and Sudan.
Loves taking still photographs and fishing.
Intended to become a painter when he enrolled in the Bath Academy of Art.
When he attended Roger Mayne's -who was an English photographer- classes in the college, Mayne was a big influence on the way he started to see things.
Graduated from college with the idea of making documentaries.
Views 'cinematography as a collection of images, not individual images', according to Andrew Dominik.
Is affected by the films of Jean-Pierre Melville, Andrei Tarkovsky, Akira Kurosawa, Kenji Mizoguchi and Luchino Visconti.
According to himself, from their very first encounter, him and the Coen brothers seemed to be on the same wavelength.
Was tied with George J. Folsey for 13 Academy Award nominations for best achievement in cinematography without a win, but has since "lost" the record upon winning for Blade Runner 2049 (2017).
As of 2017, he contributed with the cinematography of seven films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Fargo (1996), A Beautiful Mind (2001), No Country for Old Men (2007), The Reader (2008), A Serious Man (2009) and True Grit (2010). Of those, A Beautiful Mind (2001) and No Country for Old Men (2007) are winners in the category.
Operates the camera himself, which is rare for British cinematographers.
Is the most Oscar-snubbed cinematographer having been nominated 13 times (1995-2016) before finally winning the statuette for his 14th nomination for Blade Runner 2049 (2017). Curiously enough, composer Thomas Newman who, with Deakins, was first Oscar-nominated for The Shawshank Redemption (1994), but Newman has never landed the award despite being nominated 13 times through 2018.
A collaborator of notable loyalty, his gaffer/lighting technician Bill O'Leary has been with him since their first joint venture on Sid and Nancy (1986).
Is a staunch advocate of digital cinematography for its consistency in yielding instant and accurate results that need little or no treatment in post. Likes to create most of his imagery in-camera without using any filters of fill light.
(March 4, 2018) During a post Oscar ceremonies interview, Deakins declared that he was especially delighted to have received his first Oscar alongside fellow Brit and first time Oscar winner Gary Oldman (for Darkest Hour (2017)). Early in their careers Roger filmed Sid and Nancy (1986) in which Gary made his breakthrough performance. This was their only collaboration.
Despite his reputation among cinematographers, he has never once shot a film with anamorphic lenses. When he shoots for 2.35:1, he either shoots with Super 35 film stock or crops it in post. This is because he prefers working with Spherical Lenses for the look of his films, and anamorphic lenses are slower with processing light, and can give unwanted blemishes such as lens flares.