This moody photograph comes from the Photographing Hidden Chicago workshop that I did with Blake Rudis and Nick Sinnott from R.S. Chicago Photography Classes. It rained so much that we set a precipitation record for that day. But we made the best of it and came away with some great shots.

This is a perfect example of what I mean when I say that you should shoot an idea instead of shooting a thing. In my mind, I was in an ancient Roman temple lit by torchlight. I pointed the camera up towards the ceiling while thinking about how the light would be thrown upward by such torches. I also saw the finished photograph as a film noir type photo with lots of atmosphere. That means velvety blacks and bright, smeared highlights. The processing choices I made were all directed toward that end.

The next time you go out and shoot, try making your own film noir photo. Think about it before and during your shoot and then try these processing ideas. I’d love to see what you come up with! Let’s share our ideas and results on the PhotoTribe Facebook page. When we share ideas with each other, we all get better!