On Monday evening, a small but cheerful group of photographers from our Camera Buddies group set out into the dark, winter’s night, venturing into Stratford Upon Avon to continue with our experiments with Film Noir style photography. We are armed with our cameras, tripods and our torches to see what kinds of images we could create just using the surroundings and light available during the evening. We know that there were some old style street lamps near to the Holy Trinity Church in the Old Town area as well as some narrow streets which could be useful as a setting for our photos, so we made our way there just stopping a couple of times on the way to consider whether an area we were passing had possibilities for our photo backgrounds.
We chose three locations and styled our photos according to their features and lighting. It was a cold, crisp evening with strong clear light from the street lamps and dark, deep shadows which really suited our Film Noir style. We took in in turns to step into the photos as the shadowy characters – learning how to ask people in your photos to position themselves well to create images is something best learned from both sides of the camera.
We looked closely at how the light was falling on our subjects as well as the surrounding features in the area, then used our camera settings to take some longer exposures. Thankfully our character volunteers were able to stand pretty still or walk through the exposure timings to create some movement which added to the shadowy, and slightly sinister, feel to some of our images.
We all managed to successfully create images – not everything always goes to plan and having some friendly fellow camera enthusiasts around to help with setting up the camera and other equipment, and having a spare hand to hold a torch too when needed, is a big help. Being out in the evenings taking photos, especially when it is dark and there is not too much passing traffic or people, is best done in company. And it makes it much more enjoyable too.
I try to assist Camera Buddies members whenever I can on the practical photo evenings, and yesterday I was also able to take a few photos of my own. I converted them to a strong contrast Black & White finish using Adobe’s Lightroom, and then used Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photoshop programto just finish a few small details by hand.
If you are local to Kenilworth, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwick or Leamington Spa and love photography, you may like to contact me for details of our camera group. Being part of a friendly, local group of like minded enthusiastic photographers can really help you improve your photography techniques – whatever level of photographer you may be and whatever kind of camera you use.