Film Noir – 8th May 2011

So this is a style I’ve practiced a few times before in the guise of 1940s shoots with friend and fellow photographer Rob Heslop. Check out the link to the behind the scenes video for that shoot.

1940’s Vintage Photoshoot Video (Behind the Scenes)

This time, the shoot was organised as a group event by Rob and is a lighting style which I really enjoy for the challenge trying to control how much you see and how much you don’t. I’m sure I have mentioned before how I like my lighting edgy and contasty and it doesn’t get much more contasty that film noir/1940s.

This time I had a few new lighting toys to play with including a Bowens Fresnel 200 and a few new grids. All of these light setups were 2 or 3 lights with a key light and the other two usually providing rim light in one way or another.

Unfortunately a few models pulled out last minute, one with illness and another couple just didn’t show at all.

The Killer in the Darkness

Laura who usually models for us was intending to shoot this time, however due to some of the models pulling out she kindly agreed to put some slap on and become a femme fatale.

In this shot I first started with just the Fresnel aimed at Lauras face. This looked good but lacked a bit of bite and also didn’t quite have my signature rim light so I added in a tight gridded studio light to act as a hair light but it was still missing something. After of lot of faffing around and some tweaking, a few changes and some more faffing I finally managed to get another gridded light aimed at Lauras arm and gun. I shot about 15 frames but decided on this one in the end.

The Killer in the Darkness

In post process I re-cropped the image to give a widescreen look. Some blemish removal and I added a moving bullet and shockwave which I found on a stock website.

Poker Face!

I’m not going to gadder on about each and every shot as I feel the pattern was very similar for each one but I did want to talk about one particular shot I have called “Poker Face!”. This shot was extremely tricky to get right and took some setting up as well as good lucky timing.

First I positioned the table with the pack of cards in the middle. This was my focus point for the image. It was about the winning hand and playing on the whole of idea of the ace of spades being a bad luck card. To do this I used the Bowens Fresnel 200 focused just enough to light the cards but not bring in too much of the surrounding area.

The idea evolved as the set was being put together and a few props including a drink of whisky and a gun were added to show this was a high stakes game between two unsavoury characters. I wanted to light just enough of the faces of both Conner and Iain to focus the intensity and increase the tension between the two of them. Bother Conner and Iain were awesome and locked onto my idea very quickly.

Poker Face!

More shots!

I have included some more from the shoot and I am more than happy to share lighting diagrams for these if you are interested.

The Perfect Hand?
The Killer
The Winner!


Shit out of luck!
The Hitman!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s