Someone lent me a set of 3 Dedolights for the weekend. The quality and the control over the beam of light is just great. Anyway, I was in the mood for a film noir visual style experiment the other day. I wanted to see how I could use the spotlights and the shadows to draw the attention on specific details to tell a story. In the crime scene I had in mind, the knife would be the first element to catch the attention, while the long shadow of the killer would lead the spectator's gaze to the victim's hand. Here's a quick sketch of my idea:
And here's the end result:
The setup is pretty simple: I put my camera in the kitchen on a dutch angle, pointing at the door frame. On its left side, I placed one Dedolight pointing at the door with a very narrow beam of light to cast just the shadow of the killer's hand and knife. On the right hand side of the camera, I placed another Dedoglight, less focused, pointing at the ground where the victim's hand will be. Finally the third light was outside the room, full power and wide open to draw the killer's silhouette and catch a long shadow on the ground going toward the victim.
Ok, the setup was fairly easy. The challenge however was to be at the same time behind the camera and in front of it as the killer AND the victim! Here's what I did: I have radio triggers that I usually use to remotely trigger my flashes. There's normally one emitter that goes on the camera hot shoe and a receiver that you plug to the flash. In this case, I kept the emitter in my hand and plugged the receiver on the wired remote control port of the camera so that I could trigger the camera remotely. I took two shots: 1 as the killer and 1 as the victim. The final image was done in post with Photoshop where I merged the two shots together. So that's how I solved the challenges of this particular set and, to me, this is even more interesting than the final output :)