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Blast from the past: Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock

We watched the movie Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock a few weeks ago. It takes place in San Francisco in 1957 (the worldwide premiere was in May 1958).

Vertigo is noted for its groundbreaking camera techniques to simulate the sensation of vertigo.

I really liked the images and since I like street photography, some of them reminded me the work of well known photographers from the past (but also from the present. I will give you specific examples in a moment). You can see a few screenshots from the movie below.

Sir Alfred Hitchcock reportedly spent a week filming a brief scene where Madeleine stares at a portrait in the Palace of the Legion of Honor just to get the lighting right.

Movie scenes vs. photographs

Here are some photo examples I could think of when I watched the movie and some that I found relevant, compared to some screenshots I took.

When I watched the scene from high-end boutique the photo above by Zuhal Erdem immediately popped up in my mind.

James Stewart in the movie roams through the city of San Francisco in elegant cars which reminded me of this colourful, almost abstract photo from Saul Leiter showing one of those old vehicles.

I took a screenshot of the Argosy book shop, where you can see that camera looks through the glass from outside and the ambience of the place is quite cold due to blue tones. I find this photo by Paola has the same sentiment.

I took a screenshot of the scene where Madeleine talks to Scottie in front of the entrance of his house. I loved that scene because of the light and pastel colours. Who else could I think of other than William Eggleston to depict the similarities? :-)

Scottie — wearing his hat and suit is entering the Empire hotel in the movie.
Joakim’s photo tells us a similar story.

Bonus photo

Have you watched Vertigo? Would you freeze the same scenes?
Let us know in the comments and we hope you just discovered photographers that inspire you. Thank you for reading!



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Saturn9 photography

Saturn9 photography


is a place to think about images. We explore ideas between paper and screen. Words and light guide our photographic wandering. Welcome to our planet.