This is a brief post to describe the shoot I did with Nicolas with a film-noir-inspired theme. With such great facial features I was keen on experimenting with hard light and some deep shadows. I spent some time watching genre films from the 50’s (the lighting on The Big Combo is quite spectacular if you want to check it out) and even attempted to watch Sin City again (yeah… why not, though I didn’t last long I’m afraid). Tightly-beamed bare flash light, and hot rim lights. We also decided to get moody and get some venetian blinds effect on the picture, which is achieved by shooting the light through a cutout cardboard (a cookie in cinematic terms, which is also how this was done in the movies), this is better shown in the brilliant The Basics of Lighting for Film Noir.
Here’s my tough stand in, Monkey, demonstrating the technique:
This turned out to become an act of precision, especially as the “blinds” would just let the slightest sliver of light to shine through, and I wanted these to hit the eye in order to create a catch light. In order not to leave the background plain gray, I pierced some holes in an aluminum foil cover around a flashlight head, and then shot through it, which along with the shallow depth of field created some interesting streaked patterns.
An interesting variation we got was the result of a happy accident, where Nicolas stood up higher than the cutout slits and his eyes fell completely in shadows. Not expecting the censor-like effect, but I happen to quite like it.