Archive for the ‘ Chiaroscuro ’ Category


Returning after a short break (at least from being featured here), we have more from compositional star Jenny Downing.


While the concept of a still life comprising a pair of empty wine glasses is nothing new, this has to be one of the best results I have seen in the area. As can be expected from Jenny, the placement of the subjects plays on golden ratios: one glass straddling the left horizontal, while the right divider sits perfectly atwixt the glazen subjects. Vertically, the primary golden ratios provide the containment for the main body of the containers, the lower being positioned at the top of the refracted patterns which perch atop the glass’ stems.

From a subject positional perspective, there is not much else to say. The image, however, has more going for it. Predominantly, this is in the form of the Chiaroscuro tone, offset by the subtler shades to be seen within the window’s light. That, negative space, balanced against the rim-lights of plates providing foreground interest, frames the subject very well, drawing the eye in to contemplate the distortion of pattern that decorates the subjects.

Perhaps the best use one can put wine glasses to…



It’s time now for a little more black and white sand from Florian Sprenger.


From a compositional perspective, this image is very simple. Simplicity, however, does not mean it is any less impactful.

The dominant feature is quite obviously the S-curve, that is the entire subject of the shot. The eye cannot help but be drawn in along its line, from the slightly out of focus foreground that anchors in the lower left corner, up-across, back and around, passing from one curve to the next and to the third – the differentiation between them only real in the visual sense, not the compositional.

The stark contrast also plays into the scene, and the impact of the curves – the success of the S as an abstracted subject – is a direct result of the tight crop.

A ride one cannot get off without looking away.


We return once more to the tabletop work of Jenny Downing, and a little alien abstraction…


As with many if the images in this vein that Jenny has produced, the key to its beauty lies in a combination of factors: there is the abstraction of a simple object through a tight crop; the use of reflection to show the reality of the subject where the direct line of sight manages to remain out of focus; and strong lighting to pick out the most attractive elements of curvature.

In itself, the dominant aspects of harsh-contrast curves, abstracted as they are, would be enough to make this shot special. But add in the expert placement of the platter, ever so lightly toughing upper and left primary golden ratios, thereby creating a balance between subject and enclosing negative space, and we have pure harmony. Also, the contrast between the light lower half and the dark upper creates a subtle diptych within this soothing scene that flows generally horizontally.

Another fine example of considered placements.

Triangles And Flowing Lines

Returning to his excellent photography of beautiful women, Andy Poupart now presents us with a piece of fine art.

Leaving aside any discussion regarding the sensuality of the subject, we have here a finely composed piece of art: light and dark, form conveyed through subtle touches of detail; a dominant diagonal, extending through tightly controlled lighting into a frame-filling triangle; and the whole thing anchored in the lower right corner.

We even have, as a bonus, the echo of parallel lines: layering.


For every dream that burnt out..

It’s time for one more from Ananya Rubayat (dream_maze) who is being playful with light and dark…

For every dream that burnt out..

The most obvious aspect of this image is the Chiaroscura – the play of extreme lighting and subtle details in the folds of darkness. The contrast creates an interesting diptych: with a different image in each, the one playing off the other, but both also acting as negative space for the alternate. In that respect, this is an amazingly intricate image.

On the right, with the eye placed vertically at the midpoint and horizontally on the primary golden ratio, Ananya is a subtle, mysterious form, looking out at a bright world – almost as though she is looking into some other world, or it is her gaze that is lighting it up. The light is blindingly bright, so empty.

From the left, we have a double arc (thereby forming an interesting S-curve), the one outlining the realm of light, and the inner a brighter inner world. The whole is contained by the dominant expanse of dark negative space encroaching upon it, while the magic of shadows and motion plays out within its space.

A truly gorgeous piece of work; spellbinding.

Every angel is terrible.

It has indeed been a month since last featured something from Jessica Islam Lia (evening sun.) This, though, demanded attention.
Chiaroscuro portraiture can be a very expressive, emotional medium. The ability to capture the lines that make up emotional visualisation allows the image to be simplified – only the bare minimum presented. Here, the use of extreme lighting and dark clothing allows the model’s face to stand out in an empty field; an area given dimension by the lighting on the wall.

Her sombre mood and stark beauty combine to a dangerous allure: powerful and mysterious; the pent up potential to be terrifying. This is enhanced by her placement within the dark portion of the tonal diptych, and the placement of her eyes so high in the frame, looking down on us from the secondary golden ratio.

Truly captivating beauty; there is compulsion to abase myself before it.

Silver Surf

There is something about Four Mile Beach that leads Andy Poupart (andy_57) to endless stunning compositions.

One could easily wonder, if taking only a mathematical eye to this composition, why it works so well. The answer is quite obvious when one does not look for golden ratios: it is in the diagonal, which then bends to take the viewer deeper into the distance before breaking apart in the surf to turn rightwards again – a subtle S-curve. It is also the ark of cloud acting as a corner-borders while also, in its streaked leading edge, conveying a sense of motion that emphasises the draw of the first-mentioned curve.

If we then augment that with a dreamy texture in the immediate foreground and Chiaroscuro contrast in the near water/sand/rocks, the power is undeniable. But to temper it with the pastels of a sunset – to balance calligraphic harshness with the soft brush of evening light – truly releases the magic of the moment.

It is a perfect moment, artistically preserved.

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