As we leave September 2015 behind, I went back in my archives to see what I was doing in this month a few years ago and I came across a series of photos that I took for a Flickr challenge group called Get Pushed. If you’re looking to be challenged outside of your comfort zone and want to explore new ideas then this is the group for you.
Sadly, as time is limited at the moment, I’ve not signed up for a Push challenge for some time but back in 2011 I was just getting into it and enjoying conversing with new people – many of whom have remained Flickr friends for the past four years.
You can read my thoughts on the challenge by clicking on the photograph but what I wanted to talk a bit about today is the Film Noir style as it’s something that anyone can reproduce fairly easily. The Wiki definition is here;
A quick Google image search for ‘Film Noir’ will reveal a lot of examples.
The style is essentially black and white, with hard lighting, lots of shadows and a somewhat moody or sinister appearance, often referred to as Chiaroscuro in art and painting. As I say it’s easy to produce with either a flash or continuous light. There is often very little of the scene visible so can be taken anywhere, use a bare speedlight (flash) or something like a table lamp without a shade to light from one side of the shot.
Here are a couple of tutorials I found on the subject;
A set up with blinds is popular, as with the top shot. And as the style mimics film from the 40s and 50s most people seem to be wearing hats so that adds authenticity too;
As these shots are set up in advance, it’s also a style you can produce by yourself using a timer or remote trigger for your camera – so there’s really no excuse.
Why not try a film noir style shot this week – dark scene, black and white, single hard light source and maybe a hat or some blinds for a really authentic look.