Tag Archives: Detective Stories

Noir Suites

“Down these mean streets a man must go” because by the end of 2019, a few things had fallen into place. After finishing my Zone series, I had packed my miniatures away, postponed further toy photography till later, and travelled to Belgium. I was back in October with lots of inspiration and no idea where to start.

Visiting some old neighbourhoods in Brussels and Antwerp had given me the idea to show what you might call the dodgy end of town through miniature photos. I had sketched some pictures but could not really bring myself to building the sets needed for this project – for example, a vacant lot in an urban street.

A couple of weeks later I found out that – much to my delight – my Noir series from 2017 had actually had an impact on fellow toy photographers, which I could have suspected but was never really aware of. James Garcia, host of the Toy Photographers Podcasts, had let himself be inspired by pictures from that series! This was the spark I needed to get going!

Now I am trying my hand at the Noir theme again, partly because I love a good hard boiled detective story, partly because I am curious to find out about any differences between then and now. The noir suites – sequences of three, maybe four pictures that should convey little bits of action – give me a great chance to tackle the ‘dodgy end’ theme. I will start posting the series next week.

“That most recalcitrant of all witnesses…”

You’ll find the previous story here.

The quote is from a description of the obstacles faced by the hard boiled detective, he encounters “blocking figures of all kinds, from the professional criminals and their hit men to corrupt cops, siren women, and that most recalcitrant of all witnesses, a dead man” (Dennis Porter, The Pursuit of Crime. Art and Ideology in Detective Fiction, 1981). This is also my take for the Weekly Photo Challenge, if a somewhat ironic one. After all, “murder must advertise.”