Inspirations – Confidence Man by Mark Krajnak
As I like to say…. “There’s noir…and then there’s JerseyNoir.” It’s a widely held belief that New Jersey is a corrupt state. From the politicians in Trenton to the way we’re portrayed on the small screen via The Sopranos and, more recently, Boardwalk Empire. Maybe it’s our proximity to underworld scenes in New York and Philly…or maybe we really are like that…I don’t know.
What I do know, though, is that the noir genre is one of my favorite conceptual photographs to put together and shoot. Whether it’s the Man In The Fedora or a femme fatale, it’s fun for me to harken back to the to the good ol’ days of mystery and suspense, when a bottle of whiskey, a pack of Lucky Strikes and a smoking gat got you through the day, though you always had to look over your shoulder.
The image above is part of my JerseyNoir series, a series of conceptual photographs I started a couple of years ago and have continued to add to. I shoot everything in color JPG/RAW and usually convert these images to black & white using Nik Silver Efex Pro. Silver Efex Pro, and its many filters, usually give me the best results when I do color-to-BW conversions. However, I decided to keep this image in color and not do the conversion.
My lighting here was extremely simple. Camera left was a simple desk lamp, the kind you can find in any homegoods store, loaded with a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb. No other on-camera or off-camera flash was used. The minimal post processing included just pulling up the blacks in camera RAW.
The crop here was set up in-camera, and what appeals to me about this image is the use of negative space to the left of the subject. The constant light also bounced nicely off the polished table while illuminating the smoke from the cigarette. The positioning of the light source provided some separation between the subject and the wall, or else the dark hat would have faded into the background.
Simple but direct. Like a good noir story should be. ~Mark Krajnak