About MeI am a visual thinker. From the time I wake up until I fall asleep, pictures pass behind my eyes. Ironically, photography has become my zen, a way to quiet the flashing images. But, capturing an image is not just about quieting the flow, it is also like breaking a code. I see an image standing out from its surrounding, my mind goes quiet and I capture the moment. I hope that within my photoblog you can find your moment of zen. Peace
Tag Archives: art
Tell me, what comes to mind when you think of the following: “The Maltese Falcon,” “Double Indemnity,” “Strangers On A Train,” “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “Gilda,” and “The Blue Dahlia.” Did you say anything like classic films, crime drama, mystery, femme fatale, black & white, or, noir?
Now I must confess, I don’t watch a lot of movies. I have never seen any of the movies listed above from beginning to end, and any of the clips I have seen probably came from watching the American Film Institute‘s specials about greatest films. I can hear your gasp from here…sorry about that. After you have recovered from this shocking news, you better sit down because I have one more confession. This post isn’t about films, it’s really about my photography project (see the NOIR tab listed above for a slideshow presentation).
ESC: An Office Noir in 31 Shots (originally posted here) is my project inspired by elements from noir films like the ones I listed above. You know, the ones I’ve never seen… So, before I give an explanation of my project, I thought I should include a little noir information, which I conducted AFTER finishing my project.
According to Lee Horsley at Crimeculture, ”Discussions of noir often centre on visual and specifically cinematic elements – on things like low-key lighting, chiaroscuro effects, deep focus photography, extreme camera angles and expressionist distortion. But it is essential as well to take account of themes, mood, characterisation, point of view and narrative pattern.” Continuing, ”The representation of the protagonist’s subjectivity is crucial – his perceptions (both accurate and deluded), his state of mind, his desires, obsessions and anxieties. The need for attending to the handling of perspective in film noir is concisely summed up in Fritz Lang’s explanation of his subjective camera work: ‘You show the protagonist so that the audience can put themselves under the skin of the man’; by showing things ‘wherever possible, from the viewpoint of the protagonist’ the film gives the audience visual and psychological access to his nightmarish experiences.”
Now that we’ve got some background on noir, let me explain why I did this project. The answer is simple. I love black & white photos, and I like a good (bad?) femme fatale. Beautiful, smart, independent, sexy, self-assured, mysterious, manipulative, vindictive… There is a great list of femme fatales here which includes my favorite, Marlene Dietrich.
Since I like to have pretty things, and occasionally need a meal, I am a nine to fiver (or sixer or sevener) so I thought what better way to break up my day, then to include what I have to do with what I love to do. I took a few random b&w shots around the office, and soon developed an idea for a whole series. Quickly the shots fell into place, even before I thought of a storyline, and once I added a few key shots, the noir basically wrote itself.
I did require some help from my co-workers to tie the series together and pull off a loose narrative. My goal was not to have a well-defined plot, but just enough drama to let the photos flow.
My photo series is no “Kiss of Death,” and I certainly don’t have a “Touch of Evil,” but if you find that my photos don’t leave you “In a Lonely Place,” feel free to leave me a comment (and recommend my blog to your friends) that includes you too “Laura.” You never know, your comments might lead to “… the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”