Chiaroscuro And Moore State Park

Photographers At State Park -  1600w

In Paxton, MA, there’s a very picturesque park: Moore State Park. Look it up. I think it’s well worth a visit, especially if you live nearby. Even if not, that part of the state is awesome to visit as there are many interesting things to check out for a photographer.

Woman With Camera At State ParkI was looking over some of my older photographs from there and I started running some of the images through Topaz Labs Impression. I especially started investigating the Chiaroscuro effects. There are three such presets in TLI and I decided to use just one of them for these images.

According to Google, Chiaroscuro is “the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting, an effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly or from a particular direction on something”. Certainly, it uses heavy vignetting to concentrate the viewers eyes into the center of the image. I often apply slight vignetting to images, but here, with this preset effect, it’s very heavy. In fact, I had to pull back on its strength for thes images.

Green Leaves - 1600hI don’t always vary settings for presets. Sometimes I like how things look using defaults. I did, however, make such changes and tried not to kill the spirit of the chiaroscuro. With TLI, things like strength of vignette, brush stroke, contrast, brightness and so on were changed on a trial end error basis. If I liked what I saw, I save the image.

The leaves in the tree just begged to be photographed when I came across them. So, I did and then never did much with the image. It sat in my collection until now. With this effect, I liked the result enough to include it. It’s almost haunting how the leaves seem to emerge from the darkness.

The day, itself, was foggy. I arrived with the fog slowly lifting and the sky was just deep and grey. So, shadows were not a problem. Usually, without shadows, you need to rely on other image aspects to make things look interesting.

Grass Near Pond - 1600wThis image is one of those that you can make and then throw away. It’s just grass and water after all. But, with TLI and some chiaroscuro added to the mix, I finally like it.

Same thing with this last image. I don’t know if I made the exposure back then hoping that I’d be able to figure out, someday, exactly why. It’s just dead or dying grass. Kind of blah. But, here it is, anyway…

Dried Grass On Fallen Tree -  1600w

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