Our Favorite Reader Photos from the "Low-Light Noir" Assignment


The Haunting
“My house was built in 1890, and since we moved in I have always had a feeling of being watched,” Joshua T. Moore writes. “I started to think about what it could be, so without any tricks or props I used natural light and my stepdaughter posed in different ways to create what I was picturing. I started this series in my home based on what I was feeling and picturing.” He shot it with a Nikon D7000 and a Nikkor 18-55mm lens on a tripod at 18mm, f/4.5, 1/15 second.
© Joshua T. Moore

For this assignment, we wanted you to go all dark and moody and share images that recalled classic “film noir” movies. For those readers who skipped Cinema Appreciation class, film noir is a French term used to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas from the 1940s and ’50s. But we weren’t looking for crime scenes (necessarily). Here’s what we asked you to shoot for: gritty, high-contrast images, preferably in black and white, captured in low-light conditions. Of course, color photos were eligible, too, but we wanted them shadowy and mysterious: more Edward Hopper than Walt Disney. Film grain effects or even digital noise were encouraged, just as long as it suited the subject. Here are our seven favorite photos for this “dark and stormy” assignment.

The Night Watchman
“This night watchman stands vigilant, with lantern in hand, on a dark and narrow passageway deep in the medina of Fez, Morocco,” Tom Carroll says about this shot. He captured it with a Canon PowerShot G1 X handheld at 20mm, f/4, ISO 8000, 0.4 seconds.
© Tom Carroll

The Garage
April Lewis got a very noirish look to this otherwise normal-seeming parking garage. She captured it with a Canon EOS Rebel T3 and a 16-35mm lens at f/5.6, ISO 1250, 1/40 second.
© April Lewis

Life Sentence
“A doorway leading to nowhere you want to be,” Virginia Lines writes. “One of the most eerie images of historic sites are the jails. I took this image while out touring Fort Pickens in Florida.” It was shot with a Nikon D7200 and an 11-20mm Tokina lens at f/5, ISO 250.
© Virginia Lines

Foggy Silhouette
“This is an unedited photo of my daughter on a very foggy night backlit by my car headlight,” Kristie Kistner explains. She captured it with a Nikon D610 at ISO 250, f/4, 1/50 second.
© Kristie Kistner

Blinded by the Light
“Beautiful striking dunes and very uncommon terrain make White Sands National Monument a unique destination as this lone hiker makes his way across the terrain,” Linn Smith notes. It was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II at f/10, ISO 800, 1/8000 second.
© Linn Smith

The Meditation
“The Meditation is one of the primary practices of Buddhism, which is a means of self-reflection in order to identify the causes of individual desire and ultimately alleviate one’s suffering,” Eduardo Seastres explains.
© Eduardo Seastres

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment: Wild Weather
Long a favorite photo subject of Shutterbug readers, here’s your chance to share your crazy, beautiful images of the world’s weather. Photo entries can be of anything from lightning strikes to dust storms to deep powder to swirling tornadoes (but don’t get too close!). Most importantly, we’re looking for something dramatic that sends a shiver down the spine. As always, pay attention to image composition so that it’s not just a photo, for example, of a rainbow, but of a rainbow as an element in a complete scene. In short, we want you to show us Mother Nature at her most awesome. n

Deadline for submissions: January 1, 2017 (Images will appear in our April 2017 issue.)

Bermuda Storm Warning
I was photographing the harbor in the town of St. George’s in Bermuda when a threatening storm suddenly rolled in. I was shooting with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and was able to capture the power of the gale with an assist from the camera’s Dramatic Tone filter. While the E-M5 II is waterproof, I didn’t have to worry because as soon as it appeared that the sky would let loose with a torrential downpour, the storm moved out to sea and the skies cleared up. This was shot with a M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens at f/6.3, ISO 200, 1/320 second with the exposure at +0.7.
© Dan Havlik

How To Submit Online
1. Go to www.shutterbug.com and register. Scroll down the page and on the right side you will see a box for entering your username and your password. If you have already registered and/or submitted images for the Galleries you can skip this step. Respond to the activation e-mail. Registration is free. You will use your username and password whenever you visit or, with some systems, it will automatically load for you when you visit www.shutterbug.com.

2. Check the assignment and closing dates in the magazine. When the magazine is printed we will create an appropriate gallery for your images. The limit is two images per assignment.

3. Select and prepare your images. We only accept files at a maximum 5MB size, JPEG format. Save the JPEG at a quality level of 10 or higher. Note that file size in your image folder directory will determine upload size, not the “opened” file size, as JPEG compresses at 1:4 at higher quality ratings. If your images do not load it probably means you have exceeded the file size or have not used JPEG format.

4. Click on the Galleries tab on the homepage. In the Category section use the drop-down menu to select the Picture This! assignment. Note that images are simultaneously loaded into the assignment category as well as your own personal gallery. When the Picture This! assignment deadline date has lapsed the assignment gallery will be removed, but your images will still reside in your own gallery.

5. In the Description box add title, camera, lens, exposure information, and your full name. Also add any other comments or anecdotes you think relevant. We reserve the right to edit comments as needed.

6. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. This uploads the image.

7. You retain copyright on the image.

8. We will choose the images after close of the due date.

9. Please feel free to comment on images submitted by other readers.

Please Note: If the photograph includes a minor or a recognizable individual or group you are guaranteeing that you have a signed model release form, and especially a parental or guardian release form for minors. You should keep a copy of that release in your files. Scan that release and keep it handy. If an image is chosen for publication, failure to provide a form when requested will eliminate the image from consideration. You can find release forms at http://asmp.org/tutorials/model-release-minor-child.html and other resources on the Internet. By uploading images you attest that the model release form is valid, that any depiction of a person is with their consent, that you have a model release form available on request, and that all images you submit have been made by you.

If you have any questions or problems e-mail us at editorial@shutterbug.com with Picture This! in the subject line.

Deadline for Wild Weather submissions: January 1, 2017.
Images will appear in our April 2017 issue.

Upcoming Topic: Travel & Landscape Photography
Deadline: February 1, 2017
Publication Date: May 2017

Please Note: By submitting you agree to give us the right to show the image(s) on the web and for publication. You give us publication rights in the magazine and on the website(s) of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC.

Want to see images selected for past picture this! Assignments? Go to www.shutterbug.com and click on picture this! In the “more articles…” box on the homepage.

If you have any questions or problems e-mail us at editorial@shutterbug.com with Picture This! in the subject line.

kriskist's picture

Thank you so much for including my photo in this list! Its a wonderful honor!