Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter Chiaroscura--Fairbanks, Alaska

I took these photos yesterday after a light dusting of snow. They show the bluff at the base of College Hill at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The bluff overlooks the Chena River and Tanana River flatlands, and has been used for thousands of years as a lookout site for hunters. There is an archeological site (the Campus site, FAI 001) atop the bluff.


 I love the play of light and dark on the hillside and how the various layers of rock stand out.. Chiaroscura is an Italian term meaning “light-dark,” and in two-dimensional art refers to the use of different tonal values or shading to make an abject look three-dimensional. In general usage it has mainly come to be associated with strong contrasts between light and dark.

During the summer, the contrasts would mainly be between colors. Trees would be leafed out, and the grasses and juniper growing on the hillside would be much closer in value to the exposed rocks.

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