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5 Film Noir Photography Tips

Film Noir Photography

How to Create a Hollywood Film Noir Portrait

Learn the 'Rules' of Film Noir & How to Light It

20 Gritty Examples of Noir Photography

Film Noir Portraits ~ Pictures and techniques

After completing all the tutorials it was time to create a "Film Noir" image. The image could be of anything: doorways, buildings, jungles, caves, . . . . The only criteria is the image should convey a feeling of foreboding, dispair, mystery, or danger. These are not meant to be happy or artsey images.

The recommendation was a strong side light, a lower intensity quarter rear rim light, and no front light. Any "Film Noir" scene will have a strong side light and deep shadows. Who knows what shadows lurk behind those cans waiting to pounce!

Here is the image I finished with. That old galoot needs a better hat.

This is the original color image:

 

This shows the placement of the three flashes. Slave "B" was set to 1/8 the power of Slave "A". ETTL exposure metering was used.

Slave "A". Any old support stand will do.

Slave "B" looing up at the hat.

Here is the view from the camera. The lights were on the entire session.

Clearly there was no work done on the set. The choice was made to use speed lights rather than photo floods. The advantage of the speed lights was the lights could be kept on. At 1/200 sec @ f / 14, ISO 50 the exposed background went to black.

This trick I picked up at the Kelby show in Arlington. Kelby set up a model leaning on a railing of a large boat at high noon with the shore as a backdrop. By using a combination of neutral density filters and exposure settings the day disappearecd to night. The only light was from the strobes. They may as well been in a studio. They were NOT using speedlights! They needed high power strobes to compete with the sun.

If photo floods were used then the lights would need to be turned off so only the floods provide the light. It would help if the floods had dimmers.