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Light and shadow are important elements of any photograph. They are significant elements in photography, especially when present certain parts of a photograph discriminately. Similarly, the use of color is critical in the composition of all the elements of a photograph (Freeman, 2007). This essay will critique the use of light and color in Bravo photograph and Eggleston photograph.
Bravo’s photograph: “Portrait of the Eternal, 1935”
In this photograph, Chiaroscuro created an enhanced impact for the viewer. This is evident in the use of light used to reveal her identity. Chiaroscuro also applied to shadow and loght to review the front part of the lady and the upper part of the platform she is sitting on. However, a keen analysis of the photograph reveals poor use of Chiaroscuro.
The photograph has limited application of Chiaroscuro, especially in the upper part of the face and the lower part of the body. This is because the photo shows the slight contrast between the light and the dark parts.
In this photograph, lack of color reduces the impact the photograph has on the viewer in terms of perception and emotion. Due to the lack of color, the viewer has limited perception of the person and the environment in the photograph. Further analysis shows that the photographic key on the black and white photograph is low.
In terms of lighting, the photographer has successfully used the elements of light and shadow to create balance (Freeman, 2007). In the photograph, light is used to reveal selected parts while the shadow is used to cover certain parts of the photograph that the photographer had no intentions to reveal. This way, light and shadow are successfully used to as part of the symbolism indicated by the title of the photograph.
William Eggleston’s photograph: “Memphis, C. 1969–1970”
Such elements as properties of color, hue, saturation and brightness are used as components of the photograph. Photography hue is used to describe different components of the environment from which the photo is taken. On the other hand, saturation is used to present different color intensities that define the photograph.
Brightness is applied to describe the levels of these intensities that give the photograph its distinct reality. The photograph presents a dull relationship between the colors. This is aided by a faint contrast between colors in the environment, as well as the person in the photograph.
The are also the elements of color on the photograph that are used to create photographic balance. The use of dull colors, as portrayed in the environment, indicates a successful consistency of the photographic elements with this environment. Through the use of color, the photographer seeks to present the beauty of the place as it was photographed using the dye transfer process (Freeman, 2007).
The use of light, shadow, and color in the two photographs influences the way viewer is to interpret the photograph. There is a dominant use of shadows and lights to reveal certain parts of the photograph that present symbolism. On the other hand, the use of color in the Eggleston’s photograph helps the viewer to understand the environment that composes it.
Freeman, M. (2007). The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos. Oxford: Focal Press.