Friday Noir: Through The Long Night
He stepped out of the dark and into the shadows.
The relentlessness of the rain finally tapered, then ended.
Gray light filtered through. An upturned collar against the chill.
It’s all down the straight line now, she had said.
Gotta keep movin’, he had said. ‘Cause then they can’t catch me.
If only my heart were stone, he thought.
Borrowed time in a borrowed world.
The night drags on in the black city.
When your dreams are of some world that never was or some world that never will be…
And you’re happy again, then you’ll have given up.
You can’t give up.
Usually my Friday Noir features stand on their own – and image, a story – and that’s it.
This one though is a little different, as you can tell. No tell-tale fedora. No typical spark of the Zippo.
Oh but what a great image!
Back story: A few weeks ago, I was up early one morning working, probably on my second or third cup of coffee. My email dinged and the subject line was Copenhagen Noir.
The email was from the world wandering, nomadic, mad and raving time-traveling Skyvandrer, thin white duke of a documentary photographer, Flemming Bo Jensen.
The note said: Charlene and I did some night walking in Copenhagen the other night and produced a bit of Copenhagen Noir featuring yours truly!
Charlene is Charlene Winfred, she of somewhat newly nomadic traveling, now scouring the earth with Flemming Bo, shooting exquisite documentary photos, telling stories and even sneaking in time to shoot/direct/produce a movie or two.
What delighted me to no end when I read the note, and still delights me, was there here were two fantastic storytellers trying out something a bit new, and inspired by some of the conceptual stuff I love to shoot. How cool is that?
Whenever you can perhaps inspire someone – it’s happened a couple of times when Joe McNally produced some neo-noir the only way he could, and mystery author and photographer Mark Coggins replicated a photo of mine – that’s always a good feeling. Plus, I always love to see the particular take or spin a photographer can put on their noir-styled images. Nothing is set in stone in this genre, so it’s all fun to see what can be had and where it can go.
Flemming Bo included four of Charlene’s images in the email, three in color one in B&W. All four were spectacular. Charlene has such a good eye for detail, composition, tone and place. Just take a gander at her website and you can see. All four of the images were really interesting and it took me quite a while to decide which one I’d go with for today’s Friday Noir post (I got the expressed permission from both Flemming Bo and Charlene to do this post, so no we’re in the clear.)
The one above was actually one of the color images – see it here – and what drew me to it was the inclusion of the industrial looking air vent up top of the frame (such a great detail), the beautiful window light, and the fantastic little architectural light on the side of the being serving as both a detail fixture and a highlight light.
Hollywood couldn’t have lit this any better.
Then there’s Flemming Bo, doing his best James Dean, in the frame. No Lucky Strike or fedora but the character still portrays the weariness, angst and removal that all good noir characters exude. Now, I wanted to come up the story/text to fit this striking image.
Now – and here’s where I hope I don’t raise Charlene’s ire – while I love the color version she shot, I did want to see what this looked like in B&W. When I did the conversion using Nik Silver…I really liked it. To me, the charm and old-worldness of Copenhagen is amplified in the B&W version, the same way Vienna was gorgeously portrayed in the expressionistic lighting of one of my favorite noir films, The Third Man. Honestly, this could be Copenhagen, 1942, no?
I wrote back to Flemming Bo and Charlene saying how much I loved the photos, and how, with the burgeoning genre of Scandinavian Noir out there, any one of the shots could be a book cover. Stieg Larsson may soon come a-calling.
And while my Jersey Noir may have been a bit of spark of inspiration, they both really did a great job of shooting this compelling work and visually telling the story. Much thanks to both of them for thinking of me, sending me these images and letting me run with one for this edition of Friday Noir!
Maybe next time I’ll get an email with portraiture images from when Flemming Bo was behind one of his Fuji Cameras and Charlene was the femme fatal, all dark and shadowy from the nether regions of the their travels, wherever they are now roaming…Morocco…Lisbon…North Africa…Ends of the Earth.
© Mark V. Krajnak / JerseyStyle Photography | Charlene Winfred |Flemming Bo Jensen | All Rights Reserved 2013