Tributes have been paid to one of Britain's leading cinematographers who has died.

Oscar winner David Watkin died peacefully aged 82 at his home in Sussex Mews, Brighton, on Tuesday.

He will be best remembered for his work on films such as The Beatles' Help!, Jesus of Nazareth and Chariots of Fire.

He won the Oscar for best cinematography for 1985's Out of Africa.

Friend Chris Mullen, who helped Mr Watkin pen two volumes of autobiography, described him as an innovator in his art as well as a warm and friendly honest man.

He said: "He was very much his own man and set himself his own roles.

"Very early on he developed an innovative way on how a film was lit. He was a great pioneer of bounce lighting which is reflecting the light source off a white surface.

"He was seen as someone very risky and David was taken up by particular directors who wanted a different look to their films. They wanted a cinematographer who challenged everything.

"I have never met anybody like him."

Starting out in documentary film and then progressing to commercials and then feature films, Mr Watkin was noted for his very casual approach.

When asked when he first developed a passion for photography, he answered that he hadn't as of yet - his main passions being classical music and literature.

Along with his Oscar, Mr Watkin was given a lifetime achievement award in 2004 by both the British Society of Cinematographers and the cinematographic-centric Camerimage Film Festival in Poland.

Born in Margate on March 23, 1925, the fourth and youngest son of a Catholic solicitor father and homemaker mother, Mr Watkin grew up within a well-to-do upper-middle class household.

After a brief stint in the British Army during World War II, he started work at the Southern Railway Film Unit in 1948 as a camera assistant.

After the unit was absorbed into British Transport Films (BTF) in 1950, he eventually climbed the ranks up to director of photography at BTF before going freelance with commercials in about 1960.

While on a commercial shoot he met would-be Superman director Richard Lester, who hired him for his feature film, The Knack...and How to Get It.

The two worked together on a string of films including Help!, How I Won the War, The Bed-Sitting Room, The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers, Robin and Marian, and Cuba.

He also shot the mesmerising title sequence in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.

It was not just in films that Mr Watkin was innovative in changing attitudes.

Gay and very proud of it, he never hid his sexuality.

Mr Mullen said: "He was honest to himself in every aspect."

He is survived by his civil partner, Nick Hand.