Eye Candy - Visually Rich Cinematography

Have you ever thought about what draws you to certain TV shows and movies? Of course the plot, the quality of the acting, the genre all play significant roles. But underlying those elements is a feel which draws you in and elicits emotions on your part. 

As a photographer, I might just be a little more aware of the cinematography in the things I'm watching than the average viewer. And it can make all the difference to me in my experience. I would argue, however, that whether you realize it or not, it makes quite a difference to you as well.

Eye Candy

Eye candy for me is not the hot lead male in the film. I usually have a pretty good-looking one sitting next to me watching the show already. *wink* What captivates me on screen these days is a filming and editing style that manipulates depth of field, tones, tints, and contrast to provide a vintage appeal. Of course, a large part of this is due to the fact that I love period pieces, which an editor or producer would naturally want to make appear old (some other day I'll blog about my favorite period pieces). 

But even more so, it is because the rich, heirloom look of film photography has captured my heart in my work. 

Today I want to use an example of a movie set in modern times that intentionally captured this look and feel and gave me a visually stimulating experience (even if the plot was pretty predictable and cliche)!

In The Age of Adaline, the heroine, Adaline, is a woman born in the early 20th century who finds herself still alive in the 21st century, her soul frozen in the body of a 29-year-old because she doesn't age. 

As a woman literally of another era, Adaline's clothing, hairstyles, jewelry and apartment decor evoke that vintage appeal. She's adorable! She loves history, because she lived through it, and loves books and browsing old newsreels and her own collection of black-and-white photos. She lives an urban-chic life in San Francisco, but is planning on moving out to a farm in Oregon. And of course she falls for a guy with an old soul!

Yes, they nailed many of the current trends and fashions :o)

But back to photography. The movie would be just another chick flick were it not for the cinematography. I, for one, would not have been truly drawn in, if it hadn't been for the higher contrast, grainier textures, greener tints and warmer tones that mimic the look you get when using good, ol'-fashioned film. 

Have you ever thought about the visual elements of a film that most draw you in? I bet if you did, you would find insight into why you have chosen certain pictures to hang on your walls. Check the filters you use most often on your Instagram photos. What just usually feels right? The next time you are hiring a photography, why not consider following in the footsteps of The Age of Adaline and choosing one who, despite the 21st century subject material, edits with an older, classic style or even uses actual film cameras.

P.S. Last week I starting a series of deconstructing some of the terminology used to describe photographic styles. This blog post is not meant to just be a shameless plug for a my business but rather encouragement to examine your style and think about how it affects the pictures you love and those you want taken. Don't be afraid to be an old soul! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section of what looks you love and are drawn to!