Chiaroscuro, the use of light and shade in oil painting, as developed by da Vinci,
Caravaggio, Vermeer and Rembrandt, became the essence of Renaissance art.
Through careful manipulation of light, dramatic effects were obtained, adding depth and volume to otherwise flat surfaces, injecting them with contrast, texture and emotion.
Painting with Light, as it became known, has since become a useful concept in photography as well. The term encompasses a range of different photographic techniques which can be applied both in-camera and in post processing.
In-camera methods include:
Using a long exposure whilst “painting” the subject using a flash-light or other beams of light
Making multiple exposures with different areas of the subject lit with snooted strobes or speed-lights, followed by stacking into layers in Photoshop and blending them
Shooting single exposures in a studio with carefully set up studio lighting, using strobes, scrims, bounce reflectors, silver cards, white cards, black cards, etc.
Shooting in natural light from a unidirectional light source, such as a small window
On the other hand, it can be done quite effectively in post processing using Photoshop Adjustment Layers and masks to fine-tune selected areas within the photograph. A wide range of effects can be obtained using the different types of adjustment layers: curves, saturation, brightness and contrast, and gradient maps (for black and white).
The idea is to use one or more of these adjustment layers and masks, followed by painting targeted areas with a white brush to lighten or darken them to the desired extent. By using multiple layers, it is possible to apply tailored effects to selected areas of the photo.
Irrespective of the methods used to obtain the final image, the handling of light and shade through Painting with Light has become an important element in the world of photography, and is well-represented in the 1x.com collection, as shown in the selection that follows…
A huge thanks ,dear Yvette and Laurens for publishing my photo .
Arnon Orbach CREW
Excellent article on the essence of lighting in art & photography. I applaud the samples selected. My compliments dear Lourens.
Richard Bland PRO
To be included in this article is a complete surprise and in such illustrious company makes even more special...........thank you Kind Regards Richard
Piet Flour PRO
impressive work and approach of photography once more; compliments for the whole 1X editor team
Olavo Azevedo PRO
Is´s an honor for me, the inclusion of my photos in the article Many tks to you and to Lourens and congratulations to all the others photographers My best compliments
Vito Guarino PRO
Thank you so much Yvette and Lourens. Great collection. I am honored.
Thanks dear Yvette! Congratulations also to all photographers!