JD Hancock Photos

Frank In Stein

Frank In Stein

Posted to Flickr on 27 October 2014. Part of the Laugh! series. Funny is fun.™

Donnie Darko’s “friend” Frank likes to celebrate Halloween in his own unique ways.

DedicatED to Ed Steele.


My friend Ed Steele and I share a love of time travel movies. One of his favorites is Donnie Darko, and he has a special place in his heart for the strange character of Frank, which was the inspiration for this photo.

I’ve wanted to shoot this one for a long time, but I decide to wait until just before Halloween for maximum fun-having.


The setup was more complex than I anticipated. The easy elements were the black backdrop of foam board, the sheet of acrylic atop my elevated black shelf, and an LED flashlight (with a toilet paper snoot) for the back-lighting. I’ve done similar setups many times.


The difficult part was de-emphasizing the reflection in the stein. I really like the stein because it is monochromatic and uncomplicated, helped to put the emphasis on Frank. But I had not counted on it being so reflective. You could see everything behind the camera, including me, on the stein’s surface. In the end I surrounded the scene with white foam board and masked the area behind the camera with a white trash bag.

Setup 2

Above the scene as usual (and not visible in the setup photos) is a large circular diffuser, softening the ambient light in the room.


I thought about trying a red light behind Frank, but since Donnie Darko takes place in the 80’s, I decided to stick with Tron blue.


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Would you like to use this photo on your blog, news website, presentation, or other project? All of the photos here are licensed for free use under a Creative Commons attribution license as long as you credit me, JD Hancock. Really!

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Flickr Facts

This photo was posted to Flickr on . The last time I checked, it had 19,956 views on Flickr.

The media type of this image is "photo." The original file type was "jpg." The photo's dimensions are 1024 x 681, giving it landscape orientation.

Unless otherwise noted, the image was created by me, .


Frank In Stein by JD Hancock is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available.

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