Photo Noir


What is it that makes a photograph ‘noir’? It’s a term that seems to get bandied about a lot lately, and used to mean any old black-and-white photo. First off, ‘Noir’ has a whole lot to do with lighting.  Film Noir was shot in high contrast black and white, often using low-key and chiaroscuro effects- using a single bright light to separate the foreground from the shadows. The results are purposefully eerie, especially if the subject is surrounded by deep shadows. You will see the same types of lighting in related genres as well- horror, for example, and German expressionist films (think Nosferatu), which are often considered the forerunners of film noir, although the two often seemed to feed back and forth.

Secondly, ‘noir’ has a great deal to do with subject matter. No matter how striking the lighting or how mysterious the shadows, a photo of a kitten is unlikeley to qualify at ‘noir’. Noir films were full of sexuality and violence, sometimes critiquing modern ‘moral ambiguity’ and sometimes seeming to fetishize it. The expressionist films dealt with dark material as well, although it was often handled through symbolism and hyperbole.

Photos by Ryder Makeup Labs




5 Responses to “Photo Noir”

  1. February 23, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Yay! You’ve finally done that noir shoot you’ve been wanting to do. The photos look great. I think they look more silent film vamp, though.

  2. February 23, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Noir is an attitude, a feeling, a response. It is that dark part of ourselves that we do try so hard to hide from view. It is our carnal lust and agresions.

  3. 3 Dr. Necessitor
    April 29, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Hey, hotpants…update this shit.


  4. 4 jonathan zober
    September 8, 2009 at 6:04 am

    your eye’s look beatiful in your pic and i love the black and white

  5. May 23, 2010 at 3:53 am

    What amazing pictures! I really like the sensuality you captured.

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