Light and shadows

I’ve started a little artsy-fartsy project for this month, exploring a method I learned of recently called “chiaroscuro”. It was coined during the renaissance.

Definition of Chiaroscuro

Painters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods wanted to engage their viewers. Like the cinematographers of classic Hollywood, they used the play of light and shadow to give life and drama to their images. The word chiaroscuro is Italian for light and shadow. It’s one of the classic techniques used in the works of artists like Rembrandt, da Vinci, and Caravaggio. It refers to the use of light and shadow to create the illusion of light from a specific source shining on the figures and objects in the painting. Along with linear perspective, chiaroscuro was one of the new techniques used by painters of the Renaissance to make their paintings look truly three-dimensional.

https://study.com/academy/lesson/chiaroscuro-in-art-definition-technique-artists-examples.html

My project:

Because June has naturally bright sunlight and the shadows that go with it, plus lots of flowers blooming, I am using flowers lit by the sun. Here are a few I’ve done in the past couple of days.

How I got the effect:

I intentionally looked for flowers that were in the sun where the background was shadowy. To make the photos more dramatic I used post processing. First in Raw Therapee (I shoot in Raw) I intentionally recovered as much detail as possible in highlights, keeping them as bright as possible without blowing out details, and darkening the shadows. Then, in the GIMP, I duplicated the image to a second layer then used the multiply blend mode, then adjusted the second layer’s opacity.

Do you ever challenge yourself to a project?

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Flowers. Seems appropriate, since this is intended to be a Fun Foto project! I’m hoping to learn to use the manual mode on my camera better and test out different post processing methods.

4 thoughts on “Light and shadows”

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