[EDU] Noir portraits

  • Model: Mary Braun
  • Photography: Michele Balistreri

I have always liked retro-styled pictures, they transmit emotions which are otherwise unknown to those of my age and for this reason they are always interesting. We decided to shoot this quite spontaneously, mostly because I had made some DIY light modifiers which created very focused and contrasty light. This is what I want to talk about in this post.

The setup for all of these is very easy. The main light is a Godox TT600 speedlight on a stand with an S-type bracket. I have zoomed the flash all the way in, but that was not enough for what I wanted. So I taped a chips tube with the bottom cut out to the bracket. This creates a much more focused (and round) beam of light.

The effects of this setup are something like this. Note that the closed eyes are part of the pose, but also a technical necessity because a very focused beam of light at very close distance straight into the model eyes is not very pleasing.

Noir 4

This is a beautiful picture, but I wanted a slit of light, as if the light was coming from a small window above eye level, as if the room was under road-level. To do this, I simply taped two pieces of cardboard at the end of the chips tube so that only a very small opening remains.

Noir 3

We then decided to turn the improvised barn doors vertically to keep focused lights and hard shadows to get more of a 1940’s movie look. We also added a rim light to avoid her hairs becoming completely dark. The second light is behind her head, also with a chips tube attached but no barn doors

Noir 2

Playing a little with the camera angle and light position, we finally got this shoot.

Noir 1

Published on 10 Feb 2018