Monochrome and Chiaroscuro

Light and Dark
Light and Dark

The sun shone warm on the dried teasel and evening primrose in the background while reflected light in a shadowed area cast a cool light on the stems of the wingstem and Queen Anne’s lace in the foreground. I tried several focal ranges to capture what I saw in this, and this captures it best.

Autumn isn’t always about the bright and bold colors, but the subtle colors and compositions of light and dark, warm and cool. Chiaroscuro is a technique in visual art where a contrast of bright light and extreme darkness defines the elements of a scene, like sun shining on one object or person while the rest is in near darkness. Often the scene appears monochromatic or with minimal color.

Below is a photo of the dry seed pods left from evening primrose flowers; in the bottom of each of those lilies is a tiny black seed.

Winter ilies
Winter lilies

Seed heads on grasses; the asphalt of the parking lot is in shadow, lending the blue background to the warm amber of the grass.


I took a walk down to Main Street, ostensibly to run errands to the Post Office, pharmacy and store, but I also had my DSLR and all my lenses and filters with me and took a few gigabytes of photos along the way. A perfect autumn afternoon is quite the inspiration, as was the fact that, three weeks past my hip replacement (why I haven’t posted regularly for a few months), I’m more than ready to take a walk! I couldn’t walk with my usual long strides and quick pace, but more like ambling along with my cane, but that was perfect for finding the details that moved me to inspiration along the way, some photographed as they are, some with a slightly different focus: flowers in others’ gardens, autumn leaf color, plantings in the parking lots, bees and butterflies, my favorite trees, and more.


I took many photos, and I’ll be sharing them over the next few days, in groups.


You can see more of my photos from other times I went “Walking Around” Carnegie on Portraits of Animals.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, visit my galleries of Photography on Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “Custom Prints” for availability and terms. I'll be more than happy to make a print for you.


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