Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination – San Francisco Noir, 14 December 2013

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Good Evening:

San Francisco has a reputation for color: the Golden Gate Bridge, the psychadelic era, Hallowe’en as an entire season instead of just one night, plus our zillions of parades–oh yeah, this place can get pretty darn colorful.

But San Francisco has a dark side. Actually, more like a noir side.

After all, this is the home of The Maltese Falcon, the iconic laconic film noir masterpiece with the iconic laconic private eye Sam Spade as portrayed by iconic laconic Humphrey Bogart, the iconic laconic Hollywood icon (and if the iconic is an icon, why isn’t the laconic a lacon?). Traveling home after a sensational show by Los Rakas on Saturday night, I saw a few scenes which reminded me of the good old days of black & white flicks, when dames were dames and guys were tough, such as this one:

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All photos taken with my iPhone, so yeah, pixelation galore. But would you ever see Bogie standing under a spotlight like that, in his signature raincoat with the belt tied like a tough guy, not buckled, his Bogie Fedora low over his eyes like a tough guy, not tilted back, smoking a cigarette like a tough guy, not between his second and third fingers like a dame, but with three fingers on top and his thumb underneath? Of course not.

He would never stand under anything in beautiful Techicolor.

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Now that’s more like it.

I took a lot of shots knowing they would all come out pixelated because they would give me a good excuse to try out a pair of iOS photo editing apps from JixiPix Software, Dramatic Black & White and Grungetastic. Still experimenting with the apps since that’s the best way to learn how to use them. These are probably my better efforts so far:

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I hope at least some of your evenings are full of hard movies full of hard men full of hard liquor with hard gats in their hands and hard sneers on their faces.

Where else would you find a sneer, anyway?

Vonn Scott Bair

PS: Question: The Bogie Fedora might be the only hat directly or indirectly named after two actors. Name them.

Answer: Humphrey Bogart of course, and believe it or not, Sarah Bernhardt. She wore this style of hat whilst playing the lead role in Victorien Sardou’s play Fedora. In other words, our favorite tough guy wore a girl’s hat.

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One response »

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique – San Francisco’s Castro Theater « The San Francisco Scene--Seen!

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