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Irvington Photo Club embraces film noir 

click to enlarge One of Steve Griffey's photos for 'Irvington Noir' features Irvington Photo Club President Nicole Meisberger and Ethan Crane as models.
  • One of Steve Griffey's photos for 'Irvington Noir' features Irvington Photo Club President Nicole Meisberger and Ethan Crane as models.

Nicole Meisberger probably didn't expect to find herself perched on a building ledge, wearing a blonde wig and a sleek black dress, when she first agreed to be the president of the Irvington Photo Club. But this summer, she happily volunteered as a model for Irvington Noir, the club's new book, which will be launched Dec. 14 from 7 p.m. at the Irving Theatre with a signing party featuring models and photographers.

The ledge Meisberger stood on - located on the outer wall of Irvington's Bona Thompson Memorial Center - was a little over five feet high, but you wouldn't know it from looking at Steve Griffer's photo, which shows a terror-stricken Meisberger standing next to a fedora-wearing man, played by Ethan Crane.

Historic Irvington is itself a character in Irvington Noir, a collection of mostly black and white photographs, some of which refer specifically to classic noir movies.

"The subject itself is a little edgy and we weren't sure what to expect," says Meisberger. "Everyone has their own interpretation of the word 'noir.' We ended up with a group effort of about four shoots per week all spring and summer."

In preparation for a shoot, Meisberger, featured as both model and photographer in the book, watched a number of classic noirs, looking for movies in which the historic setting of Irvington might serve an impressive backdrop for photographs using a particular movie motif. For her photo based on the movie The Untouchables, she was able to procure the use of a Model-A Ford, as well as beer barrels from Sun King Brewery.

Among the 50 models involved in the project was Mayor Greg Ballard, who Meisberger says was more than willing to participate. Her photo shows the Mayor dressed as a judge, bringing the gavel down to put a criminal behind bars.

This is the club's second book. In 2011, the club published 24 Hours in Irvington: An Historical Documentation of One Full Day in Irvington.

About the club's most recent project, Meisberger says, "To myself, and I believe the rest of the club, it was about bonding as a club of like-minded individuals, exploring new photo techniques and creativity, having fun, and then as a bonus, actually walking away with a product."

Irvington Noir is available through Blurb.com for $34.95 (soft back) or $49.95 (hardback image wrap). ReTulled (5607 E. Washington St.) is accepting cash payments to reserve a book that can be picked up at the Dec. 14 event.

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