Ryan Trower



Phase One - Cambridge

I had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Cambridge to shoot in a church using Phase One cameras. Of course, this is an offer I gladly accepted. 

We were given (nearly) free reign of the church all day, and using cameras and lighting from The Flash Centre and Grip Van London, were told to create images in a Film Noir style. Immediately this struck me as something I would enjoy more, even if it was a form of portraiture, simply because of the harsh black and white elements involved.

Split into groups, we spent the day working on a close representation of what we could expect to be a 'professional style shoot'. We ended up creating quite an elaborate setup inspired by the 'Film Noir protagonist peeks through a blind' trope, using mirrors to create a greater sense of space, and a wooden chair mounted on stands in place of a blind; along with several polyboards and other opaque objects used to block out as much light as possible.

The result? Our group's work ultimately won us a prize of a film noir novel adaptation each (myself receiving The Passing of Mr Quinn), which, who knows, I may read someday? 

I carried out a basic black and white conversion in Capture One Pro, before importing the image into Photoshop CC 2018 to add more curves and levels adjustments, before adding a film emulation effect in Silver Efex Pro.

I can safely say that Phase One cameras are no doubt the best I have ever shot on, even if I only did make one or two photographs out of them. The resolution is second to none, and the blacks at ISO 50 pick up almost no noise at all, creating a truly immersive image. But the £35,000 price tag (not even the most expensive model!) is enough to put me off ever owning one for a very long time.