L. Dal Clawson had spent about 17 years behind a movie camera when he helped found the A.S.C., but nothing is known about his earliest years in the business. He was born around 1886 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and his first known feature credits as a cinematographer are for director Lois Weber at Bosworth, Inc., and Universal in 1914-15. This was after graduating from the University of Utah as a mechanical engineer. He also worked for the American Film Company and Ince-Triangle-KayBee, where photographic superintendent and future director Irvin Willat would remember Clawson as “sort of like a news cameraman” who was not especially noted for his lighting style. He also worked around the world, even being decorated by the King of Siam for his work. His book on this adventure was entitled "How I Shot the King of Siam".By the early 1920s, Clawson was chief cinematographer for popular star Anita Stewart at Louis B. Mayer Productions, but later in the decade, he often worked as a second cameraman. He was lead cinematographer on the early talkie Syncopation, but his few remaining published credits are for expedition films such as Hunting Tigers in India (1929) and low-budget East Coast productions such as The Black King and The Horror (both 1932).Clawson died in Englewood, New Jersey, on July 18, 1937. His obituary states a cause of intestinal malady at the local hospital; it further reports that it happened within the hour of his mother. Clawson's widow received the telegram a half-hour after the widow had sent his mother a telegram of his death. No information was provided of the death of his mother. The obituary reported that his ashes would be buried in Salt Lake City. His obituary was published in the New York Times on July 20, 1937.