I’m a great one for looking at a challenge, thinking, “I can’t do that” and then moving on to do my own thing.   However, this morning, I decided that I needed to be more adventurous so read up about “low key” and thought I would have a go.

I read the article entitled “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Low Key” and saw that “the key was not just to produce a dark image, but to use lighting very selectively so that only specific portions of the image are illuminated.”  I also read that in art “painters during the Renaissance and Baroque periods often used a technique known as “chiaroscuro” to achieve a similar tone for their images, the word coming from the Italian ‘chiaro’ meaning clear/light and ‘obscure’ meaning obscure/dark.”

I’m not sure I grasped everything, but of course, I needed a model and who was about just after 8 a.m. but the famous model, Mr. HCB and I may even have to rename him "Signor Chiaroscuro"!

He was downstairs, having got up  much earlier, so I pulled the curtains in the spare bedroom and asked him to bring his hat upstairs.  When he walked into the spare room, I could see that he was wondering why the curtains were drawn - as they never are!  I then asked him to put his hat on so I could take a photograph - well, that didn’t go down too well - as he thought I just wanted his hat and not him! Ha ha - he should know me by now.  However, he agreed to get dressed in something dark but was muttering all the time that the modelling fees were going to be very high today.

Twenty shots later, and having looked at them, I wasn’t happy, and decided I needed a black background so went off in search of a large piece of cardboard that I remembered I had covered with black weed suppressant material some time ago.  Like many Blippers, I am a hoarder, and had saved this, knowing it might come in useful at some future time, so having found it I was back and trying to make it stand up enough so that I could take a head and shoulders shot.  I positioned the bedside light as I wanted it and started shooting again, with much muttering in the background from the model.

Here is the result and I must admit I’m pleased with it and think it fits the brief for Mono Monday - so thanks to Carolina for moving me out of my comfort zone and to my wonderful model for being so patient!

“Coming out of your comfort zone 
     is tough in the beginning, 
          chaotic in the middle, 
and awesome in the end...
     because in the end, 
          it shows you a whole new world!
Make an attempt.” 
Manoj Arora

P.S.  Mr. HCB and I are feeling sad today - we should have been flying to Canada to stay with friends, meet up with a Blip friend from Alberta and then after 3 weeks flying to America to stay with another Blip friend - we just hope that this will “come to pass” next year. 

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