Chiaroscuro and muesli

No worries today. Continuing my learning from yesterday around Itten’s contrasts, Michael Freeman’s book ‘The Photographer’s Eye’ triggered a photography trip to Salford Quays. It’s not one of my favourite places as it’s always windy, has rather grey buildings and mucky canal water but is rather fortunate in its modernist architecture. I don’t know why but Manchester’s adopted colours for its new buildings appear to be many shades of grey. Also the main colour of the trams on MCR Metrolink until very recently.

Anyway, what have I learnt today? The answer is ‘chiaroscuro.’ Literally light/dark. It means illuminating a dark scene, often a painting, with shafts of light. It’s a combination of two Italian words:

chiaro – pronounced kyaa-roa – meaning clear; pale, light, plain, distinct


scuro – pronounced skoo-ro – meaning dark, obscure

Joshua Itten identifies it as ‘ one of the most expressive and important means of composition’ as it controls the three-dimensionality of an image, the structure and which parts draw the attention.  There are many examples of its use in paintings  and this recent photograph by Paul Railton certainly seems to have all the 3 aspects of Itten’s contrast of light/dark.


I’ve also spent some time learning Flickr. An account I set up a few years ago whilst on an on-line learning event but didn’t have any pics to add. Well, I’ve been asked twice now where I’m putting my photos so here they are.

My trip to Media City  included discovering a little bistro and coffee shop called Pokusesvski’s which is well worth knowing about if you’re in the windy climes of Salford Quays.

I’ve also learnt that Alpen now does a version which contains swirls of dark chocolate. Unfortunately, without my varifocals, when making my choice from the extensive variety of Swiss style muesli, the box just looked like the Original Alpen. I have to say it’s horrible! Especially with my preferred liquid, orange juice, not like Terry’s Chocolate Orange at all. Inevitably I have spent mindless minutes of my precious time picking individual chocolate swirls out of the wheaty flakes. It does seem to have a slightly different taste though and, the swirls taste quite nice on their own! They just don’t belong in Alpen!!


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