Week 5 – Experimentation


I was tasked to do more experimenting with my theme of Film Noir. I wanted to look at shadows which is a big part of Film Noir, the use of objects to create shadows onto the characters face such as blinds on a window.


The photo above suggests the character is looking out the window late at night, this effect was created by using a sheet of cardboard that I cut out line to simulate the spaces in the blinds and placing it in front of the actors face. However it had to really close to the subject as the shadow would not appear other wise as the light would disperse around the cardboard and light his face up getting rid of the shadow.

The photo on the left is the piece of scrap cardboard I used to create the effect of blinds.

The technical name for something like the piece of cardboard is Cucocolis and Cookies for short. This is a common technique used to create shadows and outlines of shapes onto the subject in shot.

The photo below is an example of how it would work while using a cookie.




This is the original image I got, it has the same effect however is in colour. It still works as a Neo Noir but isn’t as mysterious as it is if it was it black and white. I shot it in colour as it is easier to change it in post than to change it on the camera, it gives you more options when editing the photo. To change it to black and white I took it into an online Photoshop as the computer I was walking on at the time didn’t have Photoshop installed.



When the image was in online Photoshop I changed the saturation of the photo, this took all the colour out of the image and made it black and white. This gave it a more Noir feel and felt more authentic than the coloured image. I also adjusted the exposure in post to make the shot a little bit darker in order to make it more atmospheric and fits within the film noir genre more.



This image is out of focus due to the setting on the camera, however the technique used is a common Film Noir technique. I had another smaller piece of cardboard and I cut out a section roughly where the eyes would be so when I put it in the light there would be a border around the subjects face.
This technique is used to show a character looking through something and is usually used when the character is spying, such as looking through a crack in a door or a hole in the wall.



The photo above is a photo that I took using two lights trying to recreate the shadow style that is commonly seen in film Noir. I then turned the saturation of the image down in Photoshop to strengthen the film Noir aesthetic.


In this photo shadows are a very prominent part of the shot, the light is shining onto the subjects hat creating a shadow over his eyes. This adds a sense of mystery to the shot and supports the film Noir genre.

The change between colour and black and white improves the noir feel of this image. It makes the shadows stand out more as it eliminates all of the other colours being shown.


‘Sin City’ (2005) is a very popular Neo Noir. A Neo Noir is a modern film that take techniques and ideas from Noir films but tends to use more colour and focus more on the storytelling aspect of film Noir.

Sin City uses colour in a very unique way. The majority of the film is black and white however there are certain things in the film which use colour to attract the audiences eye.

sin-city-jessica-alba-nick-stahl-4-rcm0x1920u(wrote, no date)

This is a strong example of how colour is used in Sin City, the bright yellow draws attention to the villain on the right who is the main focus of the scene and draws him out from all the dull black and grey colours.


This is my attempt at trying the ‘Sin City’ colour style. The subject in this shot is George sitting to the left, to make him stand out from the background better I turned up the saturation. As a lot of his clothes were orange and the light was a similar colour it gave him an orange tint overall which fits with the use bright colours in Sin City. This is a really easy effect that translate well on screen.

The choice of the colour orange in this image could represent he is a sort of anti-hero in a story. The reason being that orange is a warm colour that people could associate with fire which is both good and evil. Fire kept human kind alive thousands of years ago and provide us with a means of cooking food, however on the other hand, fire can burn us and destroy pretty much anything in its way.

To achieve this effect I used the magnetic lasso tool in Photoshop and created a mask around the subject.


I then made that into a new layer and turned the saturation of the background down to make it black and white. I did the opposite with the saturation for the subject, I turned it as high as it could go to bring out the most amount of colour possible.caputure-close-up-saturation




These are the two light we used to achieve the photos above. I set the lights up to the left of the subject so the shadow would cast to the right of the subject. I followed the three-point lighting setup however didn’t use a back light so i could achieve shadows on and around the subject



wrote, P. (no date) Creating the sin city effect. Available at: http://forum.tarantino.info/viewtopic.php?t=9387 (Accessed: 1 February 2017).

9417, haco (2012) Importance of color used in ‘Sin City’. Available at: https://visualrhetoricspring2012.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/importance-of-color-used-in-sin-city/ (Accessed: 1 February 2017).

Week 5 – Experimentation

One thought on “Week 5 – Experimentation

  1. Week 3 Research: You have only included the skateboarding mind map created with your peers but have yet to deconstruct it or compare it to the mind map you should have created after research had taken place. There is also no documented use of research tools outlined in the power point (Boolean/truncation/Google scholar), no summation of your findings nor screengrabs of your methodology. This must be included if you are to pass this unit. Please use the checklists available to finish this work. You need to ensure that you followed the guidelines on the PowerPoint – Investigating Media Products. You will find this on the VLE
    1)Your Group Mind Map with your analysis of research methods undertaken, and analysis of the research sourced and a comparison between your initial and group mind map. Again, you need to ensure that you follow the Investigating Media Products PowerPoints guidelines
    2)Your Skills Research Report – mind map, screen shots and sourced research, with analysis of the process and research sourced
    3) Your Feedback and Reflection of the tasks undertaken
    All the PowerPoints used this week are on the VLE in the UNIT 12, Trimester 2 Specialist Study tab

    Week 4: Fear In film: Your research into different genres use of fear uses some interesting examples. It would however be pertinent to go further in your explanations of the mechanics of fear- you do not make an explicit definition between the use of technology/camerawork to create fear as seen in the Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity as opposed to the narrative use of fear in About Time.
    You have started some competent work here, but you must be stricter in your approach: the Google definition of fear is not a good enough source. Try to avoid using ‘etc’- define your boundaries of media products.

    Film Noir:
    There are good definitions between noir and neo-noir here, but it would have been pertinent to upload some pictorial references for original noir films. You explain the dramatic use of lighting but have not shown any clear examples from classics of the genre. If possible, try and use known examples rather than Pintrests’ picture with no traceable author- there are a plethora of examples to illustrate your point.
    The picture in the stairwell is very effective, excellent in standard- the shapes created dramatically echo the lighting talked about previously.
    Your reflection of this task needs greater depth- you refer to modern noir (Sin City?) but do not give examples. Although you have conducted some very good preliminary examples without additional lights you can manipulate, these need further reflection. As stated previously, please do not use Google as a source! You must also be aware of your use of capital letters. There are some rouge letters peppering your writing- remember thy are to be used at the beginning of a sentence, names and places.

    Week 5:Further experimentation:
    Your experimentation with the Cookie (good use of technical language) is excellent- you detail your issues with this rudimentary constructed piece and its limitations, but have produced some very sensitive and thematic work with it. You have produced a great experiment and explained your process of manipulation in Photoshop to a high standard, with screengrabs to illustrate your process. Well done Declan.

    Your second experiment with colour alteration inspired by Sin City produces some interesting results. Although the shot is well adjusted, it would have been good to see your process akin to your earlier experiment through screengrabs to detail your explanation and creative choices.
    It would be useful to write about the exact form of lighting you used to take the shots of George- did this alter the image? Did black & white help render the bulb type irrelevant? Why did you choose to make George red, what does this signify? what is the affect? go deeper with your analysis Declan, you are more than capable!


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