Shooting Noir Style with Modified Diana F+






There are never enough hours in a day. Especially when it comes to photography. There is so much involved with the capture and processing of images these days, that sometimes it just takes the fun out of being a photographer. Thats why, to me, photographing with the Diana is so much fun. There are few settings to consider, and to use this camera is an exercise in the revelry of imperfection. 

For this shoot, I chose to shoot with Rollie Infrared 400. It’s a perfect choice for creating images with an emphasis on the mysterious. I have been wanting to shoot in the stairwell of my building for quite sometime now. Its a perfect location because it is old, grungy, and poorly lit. I decided to use my friend Sarah for a Noir style shoot. I wanted inky blacks, and raking shadows, so I brought out my Elinchrom 400BX’s, gridded them up and blew off a couple rolls of infrared. For my main light I went with a 30 degree grid, and for the fill light I used a 40 degree grid. I love shooting with harsh light this way, especially for eliciting the mood of noir films from the 50’s. On a couple of shots I shot through the bars on the staircase. The one thing I will say is that the Rollie Infrared has a very soft emulsion and scratches easy. That was readily apparent after this shoot. The way to mitigate that is by placing electrical tape inside of the camera on the areas that make contact with the film. Some lessons you learn the hard way. The scratches don’t bother me much with this particular series because it accentuates the idea of timelessness. I am always amazed at the images I get with the Diana, it continues to be one of my favorite cameras to shoot with.

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