When The Going Gets Creepy, the Creepy Use Shadows

The Ojai Center for the Arts is putting on a production of Wait Until Dark. They asked me for some creepy publicity photos. To me, that meant hard light and lots of shadows. My goal was to put soft light on the actress and hard light on the actor, as she is the innocent blind girl terrorized by the evil thug(s). I used an SB-800 and shoot-through umbrella on her and an SB-600 with a Honl grid on him. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results, but the theater’s PR person worries that the creepy images will turn off potential ticket buyers. Hard to say, but I think we’ll get their attention.

I tried to channel my inner Hitchcock for this one. It took quite a few shots to get the shadow where we wanted it.

The nice thing about working with actors is that they're all crazy, so when you need someone to look like a homicidal lunatic, it comes naturally.

They needed some prop portraits, because this character's husband is a photographer. She wisely recognized that the wife of a photographer would get fed up modeling all the time.

We wanted a shot of the thug looming out of the darkness. The Honl grid kept a small circle of light on his face and the knife.

I'm just getting used to the idea that I can capture interaction without capturing everyone's eyes. This moment is hard to understand if you haven't seen the movie or play, but I like the composition.

This was one of those "expose for the highlights and let the shadows fall where they may" moments. But if you're going for creepy, shadows make the shot.

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Filed under Dance and Theater, Lighting

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