Tag Archives: CFFC

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.

May in black and white

For the past year or so I’ve been studying black and white. Specifically using open-source software (the GIMP and Raw Therapee). It is very interesting to see how different elements catch your eye when you remove color.

Here are a few photos from the past few weeks.

Spring woods

True spring green: Sunlight hitting the trees as they start to leaf up.
Fern Cove on Vashon Island in Puget Sound.
Fern Cove's spring woods converted to black and white.
Converted to black and white using the GIMP’s built-in mono-mixer tool.

Do you think it still feels like spring with the color removed?

Siberian Iris

My neighbor’s irises.
Raw Therapee has a tool that allows you to selectively brighten or darken individual colors.
Converted to black and white using Raw Therapee’s luminance equalizer method.
Silver Effects Pro in the Nik collection has a lot of really great pesets. This one is called "Fine Art".
Converted to black and white using the Nik plug-in to the GIMP.

This photo, with two variations shows how you can get different effects. I couldn’t decide which of these two black and whites to choose. In one the flowers stand out more from the background but there isn’t as much emphasis on the design on the petals. What do you think?

Un-furling

This photo is almost a mono-chrome in greens. The contrasts are in brightness and the sharpness of the details.
A bracken fern unfurling.
Another Nik collection preset: Film Noir #3.
Converted to black and white using the Nik plug-in to the GIMP.

I chose this one because it is almost monochrome in green. It’s probably not a fair comparison because the black and white had the background darkened and blurred a bit. Maybe I should go in to the colored one and try to emulate that effect.

Spring Sky

Changing weather viewed over Colvos Passage on Puget Sound.
Simple de-saturation using the GIMP’s built-in tool.

I was curious to see what would happen to this photo that doesn’t seem to have much color in it. It was a surprise to see that the black and white feels a bit warmer than the original.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge and Brashley Photography’s Mid-Week Monochrome.

If you are interested in trying out these open source (free!) programs here are a couple of posts that might help: The photo processing tools on my belt.

Lest we forget…

In memorium of Armistice Day, and in appreciation for all veterans for their service.

When we were in England in 2018, the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, there was a very moving memorial installation based on poppies. It was an amazing work of art, both in the creation of every individual poppy and the very careful placement to get the overall effect.

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Dark Red.

Photos of red poppies in honor of Verteran's and Armistice Day.

More Fishing lines…or is that lines fishing…or a line-up of folks fishing?

Several people fishing under a weeping willow tree on the banks of the Mihe River in Shouguang, Shandong Province, China.
The straight rods of “fish people” on the Mihe River in Shouguang, Shandong Province, China.

Someone I met in Shouguang referred to his (many) fellow citizens who fished along the banks of the Mihe as “fish people”. One does not see a lot of catching so, perhaps, it is the act of fishing that is the goal.

For Becky of Winchester’s Lines & Squares: Day 15

…and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Lines seems appropriate also: since these folks are having fun with lines.

Getting around in Shouguang

One really fun thing to notice when traveling is how people get around. I live in an area where it seems like all the cars look pretty much the same. Here is a gallery of some of the variety I saw while visiting my son recently in a small-ish Chinese city. Click on an image to see it larger.

I really admire how many options people have beyond taking the bus and owning a full size car.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Things People Drive