In Search of Tom Ripley

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Netflix’s “Ripley” isn’t just a show: it’s a visual feast in gorgeous monochrome. I am sure that by now, you have watched it or at least know about it from the many discussions online. The director’s choice to film in black-and-white seems to have divided opinions, as it seems to be the case with everything these days. But to me, the absence of colour creates a world of stark contrasts, highlighting the psychological depths and moral ambiguity of Patricia Highsmith’s captivating story.

Being born in a time when we could still watch black-and-white on television (let alone have a black-and-white TV), I also feel this stylistic choice perfectly represents the years in which the story unfolds. Perhaps it doesn’t reach the same artistic peaks, but it reminds me of old films like “The Third Man” or “M”. Almost every frame in this TV series is a photography masterpiece.

Netflix's Ripley promo image

A World in Shades of Grey

The beauty of black-and-white lies in its ability to distil a scene to its core. Gone are the distractions of vibrant hues, leaving us to focus on the play of light and shadow, the composition, and the raw emotion etched on a character’s face.

Imagine a lone figure walking down a cobbled Italian street, the sun casting long shadows that hint at hidden secrets. Picture a luxurious yacht cutting through a glistening sea, the stark white canvas a stark contrast to the churning grey water below.
These are the kinds of images that evoke the world of “Ripley.” A world where luxury and danger dance a deadly tango, where ambition and deceit wear a mask of charm.

The black-and-white aesthetic goes beyond mere visuals. It delves into the moral complexities of the story. Tom Ripley, the captivating protagonist/antagonist (Andrew Scott), exists in a world of moral ambiguity. The lack of colour reflects this ambiguity, leaving the viewer to interpret his actions and motivations.

This photo gallery is a tribute to that aesthetic. It is a chance to capture the essence of “Ripley” within the photos I captured during my stay in the same locations where the TV series was filmed.
The Amalfi coast is well-known for its gorgeous small towns and villages tightly squeezed between the hills and the sea. Amalfi itself, but also Atrani, Positano, Ravello… If you haven’t been, you should start planning your next holiday here.

Let me show you what I mean:

All the photos above are edited with my NOIR presets for Lightroom and Camera Raw. They are perfectly suited to achieve the Ripley aesthetic, and they are available in the store right now.
So, …

Capture Your Own “Ripley”

Want to emulate the stunning black-and-white aesthetic of “Ripley” in your photography? Look no further! This collection of meticulously crafted presets allows you to transform your photos into captivating monochrome masterpieces with just a single click.

Achieve the show’s signature high-contrast look, complete with rich blacks, crisp whites, and a touch of vintage film grain. The presets are perfect for everything from street photography and portraits to architecture and landscapes.

These are the exact presets I use to edit the black-and-white photos I exhibit around the world. Including the Street Photographer of the Year award-winning image.

Go grab them!

Now, back to the photos…

Of course, I couldn’t leave Venice out of this post.
The spectacular view from the window of Ripley’s residence is actually from a bridge, the Ponte dell’Accademia. The actual residence (Palazzo Contarini Polignac) is not on the Grand Canal but only a couple minutes’ walk from this location.

I shall add Rome too.
I haven’t visited the capital in a very long time, so I can’t add photos to this gallery right now. But I will definitely go back one day.

I have never been to Sanremo, though. To us Italians, Sanremo means the Italian Music Festival, and I’m not too fond of it. So I guess I never felt compelled to visit.

Can I add one more thing? Yes, black-and-white is elegant, timeless, and beautiful… but Atrani in full colour is just as gorgeous, isn’t it?

This gives me the opportunity to introduce you to one of my royalty-free packs.

Step into the World of Ripley

Are you feeling inspired to recreate some of the show’s iconic scenes? Are you looking for photos to elevate your content creation or serve as a reference for your art? Do you want to train your own AI with legally sourced images from the TV series’ locations?

My Amalfi Coast royalty-free pack puts a wealth of stunning, high-resolution photos from the filming locations of “Ripley” (and more) at your fingertips.

Imagine yourself wandering the very streets Tom Ripley walked or capturing the grandeur of the Italian coast that served as a backdrop to his story.
The collection includes a diverse range of locations, giving you the perfect foundation to build your own “Ripley” inspired narrative through photography.

Both the presets above and this photo collection are available for purchase through this website.
Don’t miss this opportunity to bring the world of “Ripley” to life with these royalty-free photos!

If you read the whole article but have not watched the show… First, thank you. But also, second, do not wait any longer. Watch it and come back. I will wait for you here.

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Creative. Nomad. Photographer. (he/him) /// formerly: Creative Director, UX Lead, DesignOps Manager, Web/Graphic Designer, Photographer, YouTuber, DJ, Public Speaker, Content Creator, AI-enthusiast, Food-Blogger... /// Award-winning Designer and Photographer, published and exhibited worldwide /// also known as Koan (DJ, Design)

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