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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Film Noir Workshop

Little did I know that she had brought two friends with her...Smith, and Wesson....
"It was a dark and stormy night. I had a date with destiny and her name was Trouble. I got in my car and headed for the station. I was there to meet a dame - the kind of dame that takes a man's heart and breaks it like a toy. The kind of dame that makes you come back so she can break it again and you feel something for a change. It doesn't matter that it burns your insides up worse than cheap Scotch.

She loomed through the fog like a dream that becomes a man's worst nightmare. I was waiting for her. Little did I know she'd brought two friends with her - friends by the name of Smith and Wesson..."

Ok, ok ok...enough of me waxing dime novel lyrical. I'll stick to photography, shall I? Ah, but last night's Creative Photo Workshop Film Noir event was wonderful, even if I say so myself. Glynn and I were on our game last night, and our models Taisen Blackwolf and Natasha Humble could not have been better chosen for their roles. Donned in the getup of the 40's film noir movies and lit by two continuous FotoBestway heads, they looked the part in the mist generated by our recently acquired fog machine.
The first order of the day was to instruct everyone to set their jpegs in the camera to monochrome. If they were going to shoot in RAW as well, they would have a colour image to boot. But learning to shoot and see in black and white was a serious part of what Glynn and I wanted to convey last night. It is a wonderful and eye-opening thing to learn.
As our customers also learned, Film Noir is one of those photo genres where what you don't light is more important than what you do. Its about creating mystery with darkness, and allowing the imagination to wander therein. For photographers, its about metering for the highlights and using the camera in manual mode. For our customers it was about learning, and enjoyment - the two essential parts of every workshop we run. 
Abbottsford Convent was the perfect venue for this shoot because of it arches, collonades and textures. Its classic staircase also made an accurate setting for our opening setup, and after that we did not need to wander far to create a diversity of Film Noir images. We use the Abbottsford Convent for the majority of our Melbourne events, but last night it came into its own.
I have to say that I enjoyed last night's event very much. I always enjoy running our events, but some more than others, I have to say. Last night was one of those. It was very satisfying. I am pleased that our customers went home with images straight out of their cameras, images that didn't need PhotoShop or Lightroom to make them happen. That should be the way of it as often as possible. Composing and metering in camera to create an image to the degree possible while on location is at the heart of the satisfied photographer. There is something about looking at a complete image on the back of your camera and realising that you have created a masterpiece, right there, right then. At the very heart of all we teach lies that very principle. We hope you can come along sometime to see how possible it is, and how very satisfying. 

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The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

Images on this blog are copyright Shelton Muller