“It is with overwhelming sadness that I inform you of the passing of our dear friend and colleague Andrew Lesnie ACS ASC, who after suffering a serious heart condition over the last six months died suddenly on Monday, 27 April,” wrote Ron Johanson, the national president of the Australian Society of Cinematographers, on Facebook. “Words cannot express the absolute feeling of loss, particularly for his immediate family. Andrew gave us many personal cinema moments, moments that will live with us forever, and yet he has been taken from us way too early, and we are now left with those memories.”
Lesnie worked on all six Lord of the Rings films for Peter Jackson—both the original trilogy, and the director’s three Hobbit films, the last of which just appeared in theaters last year. He also shot King Kong and The Lovely Bones for Jackson, as well as a handful of other big-budget blockbusters from the last decade, including I Am Legend and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Lesnie’s final film was Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner. Following news of Lesnie’s death, Crowe posted a tribute to the late cinematographer on Twitter.
Devastating news from home. The master of the light, genius Andrew Lesnie has passed on .
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) April 28, 2015
For more on Lesnie, head to The Hollywood Reporter.