35 Gorgeous Examples of Chiaroscuro Photography

Chiaroscuro is a photography technique and style often referred to as “clair obscur” or “extreme low key”. While the term chiaroscuro originates from the Renaissance period and is often associated with painting or drawing, it has evolved into the photographic world and now often simply means strong and bold contrasts between light and dark areas in a photograph.

This style of photography is often well-suited for portraits, still life, and boudoir, or simply to give a scene the illusion of being three-dimensional. It adds depth and a more mysterious atmosphere as it creates impact and contrast between highlights and shadows in a photo. Chiaroscuro is also a popular technique we often see used in black & white photos.

Below are 35 gorgeous and mysterious chiaroscuro photos that will surely inspire you to give this technique a shot! For those of you interested in learning more about chiaroscuro, this tutorial should give you a great head start.

Ryan.Berry – Chiaroscuro Self Portrait
Ryan.Berry - Chiaroscuro Self Portrait

Hernán Piñera – Voice
Hernán Piñera - Voice

Robert Moran – Chiaroscuro
Robert Moran - Chiaroscuro

pdh96 – Fountain
pdh96 - Fountain

Pat David – Sarah (smile!)
Pat David - Sarah (smile!)

Gzooh – Sofa
Gzooh - Sofa

Evonne – Esprit de Corps
Evonne - Esprit de Corps

Panoramas – Vodable
Panoramas - Vodable

Ben Seidelman – Cold.
Ben Seidelman - Cold.

Raúl Santos de la Cámara – Peek
Raúl Santos de la Cámara - Peek

Juan Ignacio Garay – Self
Juan Ignacio Garay - Self

Vero Villa – Arcos
Vero Villa - Arcos

Robert Moran – Kara
Robert Moran - Kara

stephane – Self-portrait…
stephane - Self-portrait...

Hernán Piñera – Airport
Hernán Piñera - Airport

Olivier Bain – Clair Obscur Studio Clara
Olivier Bain - Clair Obscur Studio Clara

Dani Wood – clair obscur
Dani Wood - clair obscur

Sean McGrath – A Portrait in Darkness
Sean McGrath - A Portrait in Darkness

phozographer – 13/365
phozographer - 13/365

Dani Vázquez – O pote
Dani Vázquez - O pote

Evan – Moonlight
Evan - Moonlight

Joan Sorolla – BCN
Joan Sorolla - BCN

Stephen Bowler – Grim up North
Stephen Bowler - Grim up North

Stepan Mazurov – your move
Stepan Mazurov - your move

Andreas Levers – Hand
Andreas Levers - Hand

Zoltán Vörös – Curiosity
Zoltán Vörös - Curiosity

Yiannis Theologos Michellis – Keeping it Low Key
Yiannis Theologos Michellis - Keeping it Low Key

Boudewijn Berends – The new tools.
Boudewijn Berends - The new tools.

Tommy Ellis – Reach.
Tommy Ellis - Reach.

IOTA Ext – Mini Chloe
IOTA Ext - Mini Chloe

Alan Antiporda – Ruffled
Alan Antiporda - Ruffled

theilr – Heads I win; tails you’re screwed.
theilr - Heads I win; tails you're screwed.

David Kutschke – abstract
David Kutschke - abstract

Urbanicsgroup – Quiet Concerto
Urbanicsgroup - Quiet Concerto

Dávid Kótai – EVL
Dávid Kótai - EVL

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