Today, I am sharing with you some photos from the very recent Film Noir Skyscraper Photoshoot, that took place in the Smith Tower in Seattle, WA.

Film Noir Photoshoot, allowing us voyeuring and capturing the mysterious life of Private Eyes, Superintendents, death proof Femme Fatales, 1940’s and 1950’s Advertising Executives and their attractive secretaries.

What is exactly a Film Noir?

A style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied (by a group of French critics) to American thriller or detective films made in the period 1944–54 and to the work of directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder.

Examples of famous Film Noir scenes. 

Few, if any of the artists in Hollywood who made these films called them “noir” at the time. But the vivid co-mingling of lost innocence, doomed romanticism, hard-edged cynicism, desperate desire, and shadowy sexuality that was unleashed in those immediate post-war years proved hugely influential, both among industry peers in the original era, and to future generation of storytellers, both literary and cinematic.

To this day the debate goes on as to whether “noir” is a film genre, circumscribed by its content, or a style of storytelling, identified by its visual attributes. The debate — in which there is no right answer — is only one of the things that keeps noir fresh for succeessive generations of movie lovers.

I think there are specific times where film noir is a natural concomitant of the mood. When there’s insecurity, collapse of financial systems – that’s where film noir always hits fertile ground. 

Werner Herzog


For a Film Noir photoshoot you can either shoot it in a photo studio or at a location. For this occasion we were lucky to be able to shoot in the Smith Tower in Seattle. The 38-story, 484 ft (148 m) tower is the oldest skyscraper in the city and was the tallest office building west of the Mississippi River until the Kansas City Power and Light Building was built in 1931. It remained the tallest building on the West Coast until the Space Needle overtook it in 1962.

Smith Tower, Seattle WA.

Film Noir Photoshoot Tips

To create Film Noir images you’ll want to create the lighting and camera effects that imitate the best of film noir. There are several ways to create dramatic noir images by:

  • Create Dimension by Lighting from the Side;
  • Sharpen the Shadow Lines;
  • Frame and Focus the Scene to Match the Mood (and you could use Dutch tilt);
  • Don’t Restrict Your Color Options;
  • Use Gobos to Enhance the Setting and Mood;

A good article to read about creating Film Noir images or film can be found here: 5 Tips for making Film Noir

For creating my Film Noir images I used 3 strobes, one with beauty dish with grid, one modifier with grid, one DIY gobo with strobe behind it. Below you can view the results of the Film Noir photoshoot which took place in the Smith Tower in Seattle. Enjoy!

More useful reading material about Film Noir, enjoy the read:

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Cover photo: Photoshoot with Lucia Javorčeková – Photo below (photo print ad) Photoshoot with Crystal Dylan

All Photo at the Film Noir Photoshoot are: © – All rights reserved 2016.