A bit of inspiration from Vermeer in lighting a still life
Welcome to week 157 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge! Yes, this post means that this challenge has been running for 3 years now! Thanks to all the amazing support from the blogosphere!!
Of course, you blew me away with the response to last week’s theme, which I thought might have had special meaning to many of us. This week, I want to make the theme about the most important thing that I can think of in our endeavors here and in many other aspects of life: Connections! Making connections with one another and learning more about the world and the great people, with whom we share it.
Your challenge is to capture any type of connections that you would like to share, as they come in many guises and at many levels. This is a great opportunity to let your creative energies flow freely and see where they take you. I can hardly wait to see what connections you will feature in your posts!!
Here’s a literal set of connections…
These wonderful, bright yellow flowers are all connected to their supporting branches, striving to reach every bit of light that they can! This image comes from a visit to the Botanic Garden of the Technical University in Delft, Netherlands. This is a wonderful place to explore and enjoy the beauty of Nature, reconnecting to all that is special…
The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:
- Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
- Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
- Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
- Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!
Let’s all make new connections and enjoy this week!
Vermeer, Master of Light
Last year I visited the Netherlands to both spend time with my family and get some vacation in as well. As my mother is advancing in age, I try to visit every year, particularly, since travel is getting more difficult for her.
During this visit I wanted to explore a couple of cities that I hadn’t visited for quite a while; one of these was Delft. The city of Delft dates back to the 13th century and has played a significant role in the formation of the Netherlands, as it was used as the de facto capital by William of Orange during the 80-year war to liberate the country from Spain. Another great aspect of Delft is that the center and a lot of points of interest are within walking distance from the central train station.
Another claim to fame of Delft is the painter Johannes Vermeer. As I came across the Vermeer Centre, while in Delft, I was pleasantly surprised by its depth of coverage and wonderful exhibit. This museum is located just off the Market Square and is in a replica of the building that housed the Guild of Saint Luke (a guild for painters that was common across cities in early modern Europe ).
One of the things that always drew me to the painters from the Dutch Golden Age is their use of light and shadow, also known as chiaroscuro. This technique centers on creating a significant contrast between the light and dark areas of a painting. As a result, it creates a dynamic tension between light and dark. This tension brings drama and interest and allows for a voyage of discovery within the image, as our eye is drawn to light first.
The Vermeer Centre’s exhibit last September detailed the different uses of light by Vermeer, as that is a key aspect of his genius. The setups detailed various light sources and how they were used in different paintings by Vermeer. For a photographer, this was a wonderful reminder to use light in all sorts of ways, often rather simple, and generate looks that are nothing short of stunning.
I took the photo in this post at the Vermeer Centre, as I was drawn immediately to the simplicity and power of the still-life that was set up on the basic wooden table. It gives the sense of that age and is simple to replicate in any studio.