Chiaroscuro Food Photography – The Intro

February 7, 2019

A trend we love

Commonly known as dark photography, its fancier name is chiaroscuro, originated from the Italian words chiaro “light” and oscuro “dark” means ‘light-dark’. It’s actually a painting term used to describe clear contrast between light and dark.

Food shot in this way often seems more natural, Dark Food Photography invites us to take time and really look at an image, searching hungrily for the details, creating a dramatic mood and rustic feel. The taste of mystery adds to the char as the whole story isn’t evident at first glance.

Contrast is key

The chiaroscuro style uses the contrast of light and dark to guide the viewer’s eye to a specific area of the image, a certain element like an ingredient, wine glass or a piece of fruit are occasionally hidden in the shadows adding a bit of mystery. Although the technique is often associated with oil paintings of French aristocrats and nobles in the late centuries our photographer brings the dramatic play of light and shadow to savory dishes and fresh produce.

The trick is shooting with natural light, which can lead to some stunning contrast effects, if done correctly by a professional photographer of course. Natural light is unpredictable and leads to astonishing results, depending on the time of day, weather and season.

Mario Daou the Lebanese food photographer: “Here at our photography studio we are never afraid to get messy and creative with our styling, this darker and generally moodier photography style seems to be settling in for the long haul.