Humphrey Bogart

Photographer: 'Scotcy Wclboume. 1942 Degree of difficulty: Moderate to hard (4 lights)

'Bogart \ a helluva nice guy until 11:30 pm. After that, he think* he's Bogart.' So said Dave Chase, the Hollywood restaurateur, who presumably saw the change-over fairly often. Bogart was, of course, a movie tough guy, hut he was an intellectual's movie tough guy, the man who more or less defined film noir, and the personae he created had an immense resonance in popular culture. His mannerisms and style of speech have become shorthand for a particular type of personality.

As so often, the props contribute a great deal to the Hollywood ambience: the fedora, the trenchcoat, the cigarette. The principal drawback in re-creating a picture like this is that it will look like someone trying to play Bogart.

There are two contenders for the key light in this picture, both from camera right. The stronger candidate, set rather below Mr Bogart's eyeline, provides the principal nose shadow and the upper shadow of the cigarette, as well as (we believe) most of the lighting of the coat. The weaker candidate, perhaps better regarded as a fill, is set somewhat higher and provides the other cigarette shadow. Catchlights from both can be seen in his eyes; the shadow on the right lapel is presumably from a (lag (not drawn). A third light, the kicker, behind the subject and to camera left, backlights the coat and hat. Finally, there is a background light, again with rods or poles used as flags (not drawn). This is probably the most difficult light to recreate, as it is hard and directional but covers quite a large area.

Background light

Background light


Humphrey Bogart Fedora

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