Friday, 17 April 2009

Tim Fite

I shot Laneway Festival 2009 for Drum Media, with one instruction from the editor, Mark. 'Make sure you get Time Fite, we hear he is something else on stage.' His show was quite remarkable. Nothing I had ever seen before. Tim and his brother Greg

time fite

After the show we chatted, and I thought it would be great to do a shoot with him. He has the charisma and presence that is a photographer's dream. I sent through some reference shots of the infamous 1930s photographer, Weegee. Tim wrote back, saying he loved Weegee, and I knew this was going to be a great collaboration.

I studied Weegee for my HSC in art, and the above shot has stuck with me ever since. Below is a photo of the quirky New Yorker.

I spent a day or so sourcing props, getting over-sized suits and shirts from op-shops, fake blood and 'wound putty,' and some amazing specs from my friends at Eye Candy Optics on Oxford St. The wonderful Felicia Yong came on board for hair and make-up, and my friend Will Reichelt put his hand up to assist. When Justin and I did tests with the blood splatter down at Glebe Point we had a few funny looks. We also tested the lighting method; I wanted to stick as close to the 'Weegee look' as possible.

Anyway, here is the final result. We started off in the studio, then wandered the alleys of Camperdown. The 'whodunnit' lighting in the studio was achieved using a Fresnel light.

Tim Fite (and Pushkin)

Tim and Pushkin striking a pose


Tim Fite


In the first street set-up I staged Tim as Weegee, Greg as the faceless victim.

Weegee would always show up to crime scenes before the cops, flashing away. For a while he was suspected as the killer! The idea of this shot was a play on the idea of a photographer shooting people. Bang bang your dead. Sometimes when I race around, firing away, staring through the lens, ready to fire as soon as the shot comes into focus, it can feel like a hunt of sorts. I wanted Tim/Weegee to look as though he had been busted.

Time Fite as Weegee

I shot with my D3, and synced my Nikon flash with another Nikon flash which was placed on the Mamiya Press 6x7 which Tim is holding. This meant that my flash would light Tim's face (I used a soft box on my flash) and Tim's flash fired in unison, illuminating the dead Greg in a harsh glare

Time Fite as Weegee

Time Fite as Weegee

The second street setup was more of a traditional take on Weegee; voyeuristic documentary. Using a similar light (on camera flash with a reflector dish to emulate a bulb flash). Tim went above and beyond, smearing his bloodied face into the gravel, swallowing a questionable amount of the fake blood, bending his limbs into unfathomable positions.

Who killed Weegee?

Who killed Weegee?

Who killed Weegee?

Since the shoot the images have been featured on Antirecords blog and LA Eyeworks

Oh, and Tim has since got free glasses for his modeling


Blogger leetranlam said...

Awesome shots, Cybele! I like how it all looks like scenes from some noir graphic novel.

I also love that Weegee used to have a darkroom in the boot of his car and would often beat coppers to the scene of the crime!

21 April 2009 at 04:19  
Blogger cybele malinowski said...

I know! he was an amazing character. Now there's an idea... a mac and photoshop setup in the boot of my car....

21 April 2009 at 17:22  
Blogger Kat George said...

I went to an amazing exhibition at the Tate when I was in London and there was almost a whole room dedicated to Weegee and it was amazing. He used to drive around with a police radio and photograph the most heinous of crimes... Amazing...

your recreation is kind of creepy, kind of cute, but generally wonderful!


22 April 2009 at 21:54  
Blogger Steven Pam said...


24 April 2009 at 00:41  
Blogger merrilee said...

I want to achieve this same Weegee-esque flash bulb look. What kind of reflector disc did you use? Thank you!

27 February 2010 at 19:18  
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