Film Noir style

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    • #431234

      I have been experimenting with Film Noir style photograph and having done some tests am starting to come up with photos that seem to capture the feel of the genre. This is my latest attempt. Taken with my Canon EOS80D with a tampon 24-70 f2.8 lens. Camera settings were ISO 200, f/8.0 1/250s at 44mm. Two speed lights were used, one behind the mannequin to create the silhouette and one about 45ยฐ right of camera with an improvised grid to create the light on the face. Post processing was with NIK Silver Efex pro 2.

      Constructive criticism welcome as I want to improve on this and create some interesting photos in homage to the genre. Its probably worth mentioning that this will primarily be a home based project.


      Thanks in anticipation.

      Someone's coming!


    • #431258

      The composition of this shot is really great – totally eye-catching and in line with the genre! You’ve managed to create a truly compelling scene.

      The only problematic thing in my opinion is a little bit excessive post-processing. The image looks over sharpened to me. I would also remove the frame and keep it clean and simple.


    • #431263
      Petr Nowak

      Great style, compo and whole scene. And yes, remove the frame and lower the sharpening, it’s really too much.

      And maybe a little bit more space above the mans head.

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by Petr Nowak.
    • #431294

      Interesting choice of lens (sorry, couldn’t resist ๐Ÿ™‚ย  ).

      When viewed small, the sharpening looks good, however, when enlarged, I agree with the rest… a little over-sharpened (that’s also one of my problems with post-processing — over sharpening).

      Have you considered adding a slight amount of burning/darkening to the mannequin’s bright areas?ย  Not too much, but just so both areas blend better.

    • #431317

      D’oh, damn that predictive text๐Ÿ˜€


      Thanks, I will try your suggestions out and the sharpening seems to be a common thread amongst the contributors so that something to sort out.


    • #431415
      Federico Alegria

      Beyond all the great advises Jasenka, Petr and Paul have given you so far, I want to state that the expression of the man, and the implied line that appears between him and the silhouette on the window is the actual value of this photograph. This has enabled you to tell a story, which honestly, is quite hard to achieve with a single frame.

      Congrats, and keep them coming mate!

    • #431438
      Graham Hart

      I think all the comments already made have hit the important points and I agree with Federico regarding the composition being the strength of this image. The suspense hanging between his expression and the unknowing victim is quite palpable.

      From a technical perspective, maybe the front light on the man (at 45 degrees to the right) is affecting the rest of the image too much also? The light bouncing off the horizontal window frames and the glass is sort of underlining the fact that it is a lit scene. I would perhaps heal out the light patches on the window frames and darken them. I would also copy and blend some of the lighter silhouette shadow area onto the dark patch in the bottom pane of glass to make the silhouette more consistent throughout.

      Finally, the big villain in this story if the knife itself and so maybe consider bringing it more centre stage by smoothing and brightening it to highlight it’s gleaming menace? I did a quick edit if you’re interested to see where I’m coming from.

      It is a fabulous image and something quite different and very creative. Love it!

    • #431532

      Hi and thanks for the comments, really appreciated. I would love to see you edit if possible.



      • #431559
        Graham Hart

        Hi MaryandNeil, here’s the quick edit I did just to see for myself if what I said actually makes sense. The edits are pretty subtle and the window glass is a bit rough but otherwise you get the idea hopefully.

    • #431604

      Yes , subtle but effective its taken some of the excessive sheen of the glass and from around the silhouette. I used a flash with no moderation to create the silhouette as I thought the point source would be more effective, any opinion as to whether a soft box or umbrella would have been a better option?



      • #431714
        Graham Hart

        Hi MaryandNeil, I have no experience at all with flash photography….yet. Bought some gear a while back but have yet to set it up and use it so I can’t really offer any meaningful advice. Opinions, I got plenty of though ๐Ÿ™‚

        Its my understanding that a softbox does just that….softens the light to prevent harsh shadows. I’ve also read about the use of large bits of cardboard to direct the light in a particular direction more. This might have been a way of directing the light away from the glass and onto the man only? Whether it would’ve prevented the sheen issue I can’t say but it’s an easy fix in photoshop in any case.

        Others in Lightstalkers know all about this stuff so hopefully someone can answer your question from the perspective of experience.

    • #432304

      Thanks Graham, one to experiment with then I think.

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