Module 5: Light

0 Posted by - June 10, 2014 - Courses, Photography Appreciation
Claude Monet, Stacks of Wheat (End of Summer), 1890/91

Claude Monet, Stacks of Wheat (End of Summer), 1890/91

Light is the essential ingredient of photography. The word “photography” is derived from the Greek, meaning “to draw with light.” Technically, a photographic exposure is the capture of light on a photographic medium, but that is just the beginning. Light is the wondrous medium by which we perceive the world and discover meaning. As such, light is the basic grammar of the visual arts.

Through 1890 and 1891, the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet produced a series of about 25 paintings called Stacks of Wheat, known popularly as “Monet’s Haystacks.” This series is a canonical study of light in art history, and it depicts the complex array of color, shadow and expression in light. Monet argued that it was the light and atmosphere that transformed subject matter and gave it its value and meaning.

For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.

The first consideration in photography then is light. Photographers find or create the quality, direction and color of light that produces the desired expressive effect. Read this examination of how Irving Penn used different types if light to achieve various effects in his work.

Question: What is the difference in the light and the feeling/meaning that is communicated in the two photographs above. Share your response in the discussion below.

Module Content

With these concepts in mind, please read and view the following module content. This material outlines key lighting concepts and terms, and provides additional perspectives for creating and evaluating effective photographs.

The Photographer’s Vision, pp. 24 – 37; and 181 – 185

“The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Natural Light”

“Where’s the Light?” slide presentation by James Bowey

Critiquing Photographs (PDF) The Elements of Effective Photographs

Featured Photographer: Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz, Dairyland, Provincetown, 1976

Joel Meyerowitz, Dairyland, Provincetown, 1976

Joel Meyerowitz is recognized for his pioneering use of color in fine art photography, and his book Cape Light (1978) is regarded as a classic study of color and light. Read links about the photographer and his work here. As you consider Meyerowitz’s images, pay particular attention to how he uses different types of light in his work.


Read the Featured Photographer links and research photographs by Joel Meyerowitz. Then find and add your favorite photograph by the photographer to the Dropmark photographer collection. Write a brief photographic analysis/critique explaining why it is an effective photograph. Apply the module content on critique and effective photographs in your analysis. Full Directions

Discussion Topic

Select a photographer and photograph from the gallery links below, or other sources of master photography, and explain the use of light and how it creates meaning in the image. Use specific terms from the module introduction and content in your explanation.

Randall Scott Projects, Washington, D.C. 
Jen Bekman Gallery, New York 
Robert Klein Gallery, Boston 
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery, Dallas
Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco 

Full Directions

Creative Practice

Go explore the light. Get away from your home or campus and create a photograph using light to express a specific intent. You must consciously select effective light with intent, so pay attention to the weather and time-of-day to find good light.

Submit the photograph to the Dropmark student collection for this class and explain the intent of your photograph and how you used light to communicate the subject of your image, using terms from the class materials and discussion. Use specific terms from the reading to describe the type and quality of light you are using. Full Directions

Top Image: Irving Penn, Isamu Noguchi, New York, 1983
  • Shannon Grossman

    The first image uses light to bring attention to the man’s face and uses shadows to darken the rest of the image. The second image, Stacks of Wheat, uses light throughout the entire image to give the photograph a sense of brightness. It does not give any focus to particular part like the first photograph does.

  • Amy Sailer

    The top photograph, (Irving Penn, Isamu Noguchi, New York, 1983), seems to have frontal light. It looks like the light is coming from straight ahead, instead of from the side or from the top. Using this type of lighting, it makes the face look longer because it focuses on the middle of the face, instead of the whole face. Th second photograph, (Claude Monet, Stacks of Wheat (End of Summer), 1890/91), seems to have side lighting. looking to the left of each stack of wheat, there seems to be shadows, which shows there is a side lighting.

  • MacKenzie Kush

    The light in the first photograph gives me a more serious feeling, and there are a lot more shadows. The light in it seems to be coming from the front, versus in the second image the light covers the entire image and there so the whole photograph seems brighter. There are minimal shadows but some from the light coming from the side. The second photograph also gives a happier, more light feeling rather than serious.

  • Joe Rys

    The light that I get from the Monet piece is that it is a summer evening on a farm and it is at that point where the farmer may be looking at his work and savoring all of his hard labor for that day. I see it as a picture-esque evening moment on a farm that a farmer would be enjoying the fruits of their labor. The picture of the restaurant gives me the feel of a place that maybe farm hands, or people that have other labor intensive jobs would go to have a meal and talk about their day because they know that they will find people that will understand. I also get the feeling that this is a common place for people to go because they know what to expect for food, and they probably know the people that work there, and have known them for a long time. Both give me the feel that they are settings of a place that someone would go to finish their day, end of the day scenes.

  • Kinsey Mace

    The light in the top photograph looks like a top light, shining from above the face down onto it. It hides most of the subject matters face in the shadows, creating a mysterious photograph. You can see the part of the face where there is worry lines, and the photo portrays a very serious look. You don’t feel happy, you feel dark and depressed when looking at this photograph. The second photograph by Monet portrays a nice day, possibly at sunset, of a farm. The sky is more lit up, and the land seems to have shadows casting over it. It is a peaceful, and happy feeling you get when looking at this photograph.

  • Jon-Michael Brandt

    End of
    Summer has a warm and inviting feeling from the light it uses. It reminds me of
    the summer heat starting to cool as the sun goes down. This piece really makes
    me feel comfortable and feel the summer air.

    lighting in the first picture gives a dark and ominous feel to the photo. The
    dark shadows show an unknown. They also highlight the lighter areas, pulling
    your eyes to those areas making them the main focus of the photo. The shadows
    also help amplify the show of concern on the man’s face.

  • Tasha Toombs

    I think that in the first photograph, there is a combination of light being used. There is a soft light coming from both the top, and the side of the photograph. This creates a very dark, mood, and gives the man in the photograph unique shadows. In the second photograph, the light definitely seems more natural and gives the picture a brighter mood. It appears like it may be coming from the side, but it’s hard to tell because there aren’t any really defined shadows and the whole photograph seems bright and cheery.

  • Danielle Evert

    I believe that photographs that use a great scale of contrast and shadows of light, such as Irving Penn’s Isamu Noguchi, communicates a much more serious intent. Having the intense, dark shadows on the man’s face with the positioning of the bright, white light makes me wonder what the man is thinking. I feel like the small soft light on the man’s face and the backlight, creating a silhouette of the his body, gives a “hard” meaning. Even if this man was smiling, I do not think it would change the seriousness that I feel. The second photograph, by Claude Monet, is a much more cheerful photograph with the immense amount of light. Even the shadows created by the stacks of wheat are not very dark. This photo also uses soft light as there is not a large contrast in brightness or color, but it is still able to portray a much happier feel to the photo.

  • Heather Torkelson

    The top photograph seems to be top lighting, with the man’s hat casting a shadow into his forehead and over one eye. The hard lighting brings out the weathered texture of the man’s skin, making him appear to be old and run down. It makes me believe that he has a backstory. The heavy shadowing and contrast leaves a feeling of mystery and deep history. There is a dark emotion over this photograph and I wonder what the man’s life was like. In Monet’s “Stacks of Wheat”, the deep colors and yellow-orange hues lead me to believe it was an interpretation of the stacks at sundown. There is an entire brightness to the photo and it reminds me of harvest times.

  • Lincoln Kirchoff

    The photo of the man
    uses a lighting technique that creates a serious feel. There are
    heavy shadows, deep contrast, and lots of texture in the photo. The
    lighting allows us the see each crease and every wrinkle, as we can
    practically feel the fibers of his hat. From this picture, we get an
    emotion of being worn out. When we compare this to the Stacks of
    Wheat image, we see that lighting makes a big difference. The
    brightness and colors make me feel much more optimistic. There are a
    lot of sunset colors, and the image is very soft as the sunlight is
    likely coming from the side out of our view. This image feels like
    summer on a farm, with warm light.

  • Ashlin Hake

    The photo of the man give of sort of a darker mood because the color and lighting used is darker, it is not a bright photo and this is then the feeling you get from it. Glum and down or more serious because of the color. The Hay field picture gives of a more cheery felling because of the bright colors and bright use of light. It just gives of a happy cheery feeling because of the brightness of the image.

  • Ryan Emanuelson

    The 2nd photo is more colorful and has much more of a variety to the photo whereas the top photo is dark. To me the top photo seems a little depressing. Not only is the photo dark, the man has no emotion on his face. The stacks of wheat photo looks a little more lively. Interestingly whenever I enviosion or think about a farmer, an image like the photo on the top comes to mind. The bright lighting of the wheat photo catches my attention a little bit easier and I like that photo a little bit better. Although the side light on the top photo really brings out that definition of the face making it seem that much more real and is very cool to see in its own right.

  • Jessica Dorman

    In Irving Penn, Isamu
    Noguchi, New York, 1983 it gives off a very sour and unhappy mood because
    the mans face seems so tired and unhappy.
    The black and white seems to keep the mood down and portray it as an unhappy
    picture. On the other hand Claude Monet,
    Stacks of Wheat (End of Summer), 1890/91 is a very colorful piece. The color
    makes it feel warm and a happy glow to signify a happy summer well spent.

  • Bailey

    The first picture of the older man has a lack of color and
    has most of his face darkened. To me this adds the feeling of seriousness as
    compared to the painting of the haystacks that are full of color and light and
    to me seem to give off more of a carefree happy feeling. The second photograph
    of the dairy land parking lot has more bright colors and to me seems to give
    off a somewhat sleepy and calm feel.

  • Victoria Langhans

    The two pictures shown above are very, ver different from one another. The first picture uses very different lighting than the second picture does. To begin, the light in the first picture hits one very distinct and direct spot on the old mans face, while the rest of the picture is very darkened. In the second picture, the lighting is placed all over the picture. The lighting is covering the picture as a whole, not just a certain aspect of the photo. The second photo has much more light and color than the first photo does.

  • Jessica Holmberg

    The photo of the man shows a stark contrast in light. Some of the photo is extremely dark while other parts of the photo are very light. I think the way the light hits half of the mans face really helps to convey his expression. It shows all of his wrinkles and highlights his age. I also think he shows his serious expression and lack of emotion. The light hits his face while his body and the background are very dark, so the viewers attention is drawn to the center of the photo and the man’s face.

    The second photo is very different from the first. The entire photo is light which creates a more uplifting mood then the first photo did. The light doesn’t highlight a certain aspect of the photo, so the viewer really sees the picture as a whole.

  • Megan Robson

    In Irving Penn’s photography “Isamu Nogochi” he uses a hard side lighting that helps to intensify the complexity of the man. The heavy shadows and deep contrast allow us to see every detail in the man’s face, leaving us wondering what his story is. This picture gives off a very serious feeling, the man looks very run down and unhappy. But in Claude Monet’s photograph “Stacks of Wheat” the lighting is much different. The picture is very bright and uses a variety of warm summery colors. The light comes off as being very soft leaving me with a cheerful and warm feeling.

  • Isaac Keller

    In the first photograph of the man titled “Isamu Nogochi” by Irving Penn it appears that Penn decided to use artificial light. This use of light be focused mostly on the mans face made it really easy to see the stressed look on the mans face. Using this light gave the photo a dark side and help to emphasize the mans troubled expression on his face. In the second photograph titled “Stacks of Wheat” by Claude Monet you can tell that he used natural light. You can see shadows on the picture meaning it must have been taken in the beginning or end of the day and the light along with the bright colors help to give off a peaceful feeling.

  • Katie Elberson

    The photography on the top, “Isamu Nogochi” the light used looks to be artificial. It comes in on the top of the image and really highlights the man in a way that reveals the wrinkles and the scarring of his face. It makes the man have a hard and rigid appearance. The second photography is a contrast to the first. Although this image is a painting by Claude Monet, his use of light is much more subtle and soft. The natural looking sunlight comes over the haystacks and puts gentle shadowing around them. The two are clearly opposites of each other- in terms of lighting.

  • Jason Straub

    In “Isamu Nagochi” by Irving Penn, he uses side lighting for the man. I think it’s a great lighting for the facial expression on the man. In my opinion, to use that kind of lighting, it has to have a certain tone in the face. The look in the mans face can come with a plethora of emotions and experience. The wrinkles in his face come with age, but it’s obvious he has been through a lot in his life. Looking at his face, I see a look of defeat. It looks like he has been through a lot and is done.
    In “Stacks of Wheat,” by Claude Monet, There is a more vibrant color. This picture gives a more energetic then the first one. Most people are going to like this photo because it gives more color and a positive vibe in comparison to the first photo.

  • Wycliff Onyango

    The first photograph there is more light on the face of the man. It shows that Irving Penn was more interested in the idea of the facial expression to create his subject matter. The old man portrays life struggles, his maturity and lack of fear. The light on his face is focused on only his left side and nose which can be described as side light. It is also mild in brightness.
    The second photo by Claude Monet ,”stacks of wheat” is a painting which shows the beauty of golden evening sun rays on vegetation/wheat. The light is focused on the left stacks of wheat and the left side of the sky. The effect of light gives the picture soft but powerful texture.

  • Cassie Stendal

    The first image, the face of an old man uses light to highlight the beautiful and intricate features of his face. Some areas are completely in darkness while others carry the effect of almost glowing. This lighting casts a serious mood as the man’s weathered face stares back at you. Claude Monet’s Stacks of Wheat uses lighting in a much more cheerful and playful way. The shadows created are still colorful and detailed creating an entirely different feeling.

  • Samantha Scholler

    In the top photograph titled “Isamu Noguchi” by Irving Penn, New
    York, 1983, I think it has some frontal light. The light seems to be coming
    from straight ahead opposed to the side of the top of the photo. This type of
    lighting makes the man’s face look longer because it is focused on the middle
    of his face instead the entire face. In the second photograph, “Stacks of Wheat”
    by Claude Monet, 1890/91, I would have to say has side lighting. This side
    lighting is on the left side of each stack of wheat, making it look like

  • Leah Youngblood

    The two photos above express the use of light in very different ways. The light also gives different meaning and look to both pictures. “Isamu Noguchi” by Irving Penn shows light projected on the mans face which seems to be coming from the area the man is looking at. The lighting make the mans face the center of focus. This photo also looks more mysterious since we don’t know what the man looks like entirely. “Stacks of Wheat” by Claude Monet is a photo portraying a lot of light. This image seems to be showing a sunset with the light coming in from the right side of the frame. This photo is more happy and bright instead of mysterious like the previous photo.

  • Nicole Remer

    The first photo, “Isamu Noguchi” by Irving Penn the lighting the strongly portrayed as side lighting. The light is coming on one side of the photograph, lighting only one side of the man’s face. Not being able to see the entirety of the man’s face makes the photo mysterious. In the second photo, “Stacks of Wheat” by Claude Monet, Monet created this piece by portraying natural lighting. With the sun looking like it’s about to set, the shadows are shown in great detail and the sides of the hay facing the sun are beaming red with the reflection.

  • Jonathan Moore

    The first photograph “Isamu Noguvhi” by Irving Penn seems to take place in a much darker setting, perhaps in a studio with the light manipulated to one side to create such a heavy shadowing effect. The painting “Stacks of Wheat: by Claude Monet is depicting an outdoor scene and takes advantage of the natural light of the sun. This gives it a more cheerful and bright feeling than the previously mentioned photograph which seems to have a more serious and darker tone.

  • Karisa Hanson

    The two photographs show the use of light in two very different ways. In ‘Stacks of Wheat” by Claude Monet the photograph shows a great amount of light, mostly coming from the side using side lightening. Using natural lightening to great a nice shadow around
    the haystacks. While in the photograph taken by Irving Penn titled “Isamu Nogochi” the light is artificial and comes from the top of the photograph. The light is much stronger and highlights many features of the man in the photograph. The light also makes the man the clear center of the photograph. The two photographs clearly have different lightening techniques making them very different from one and other.

  • Samantha Stetzer

    Both of these pieces of art show light in very different ways. The first photo, titled “Isamu Nogochi” by Irving Penn, uses light as a very powerful tool. The light used illumates the man’s face perfectly and depicts a strong emotion of wisdom and strength, while remaining mysterious at the same time. The second piece of art, a painting titled “Stacks of Wheat” by Claude Monet, uses light and color as a way to show peacefulness. Instead of the powerful effect in the first picture, the painter was going for a lighter, happier emotion. You can almost see the sun rising behind the painting. The two pieces use light and color in very different ways.

  • Stuart Schindler

    In the first photograph above called Isamu Noguchi,1983, by Irving Penn, Penn uses a darker scene with a single light from above to illuminate Isamu Noguchi, the man in the portrait. This illumination from above emphasizes Isamu’s wrinkled and weathered face giving this image a very serious and dramatic tone. Penn achieves this serious and dramatic tone through the use of lighting. The dark background allows the viewer to focus on Isamu’s face, a face weathered by time which is accentuated by the shadows underlining its wrinkled architecture. The second image, a painting, by Claude Monet titled Stacks of Wheat (End of Summer), 1890/91, has a much different, happier tone. This is a field illuminated naturally by a low sun which casts shadows across the open field. Monet uses shades of green and yellow which dominate the image giving it a much lighter and happier tone than that of the previous image by Penn.

  • Kayla Severson

    The light and the feeling/meaning that is communicated in
    the two photographs above are very different. It seems as if the first
    photograph by Irving Penn called “Isamu Nogachi” is using side lighting to
    highlight the mans face while shadowing areas around his face. The use of
    lighting in the photo makes mood in the photograph is serious and emotional. The
    lighting draws attention to the mans face and his expression that makes him
    appear upset. The second image, a painting called “Stacks of Wheat” by Claude
    Monet has the opposite effect. It uses a lot more lighting, which makes the
    mood of the photo happy and calm. It appears to be a painting of a sunset over
    vegetation during the summer with natural lighting.

  • Andrea Olson

    The first photograph, titled “Isamu Nogochi” by Irving Penn uses light to really send feeling through the man’s face. A hard, side light illuminates the weathered lines on the gentleman’s face, leading the audience to question where he’s been and what he’s experienced to put those lines there. The man’s face portrays wisdom, experience, and a fighting spirit.
    In “Stacks of Wheat” by Claude Monet, the light and color is much softer and highlights the haystacks by using natural side lighting. It gives a sense of calming and accomplishment; similar to how a farmer would feel at the end of a hard day’s work. The shadows give it a sleepy feeling.
    These photos are astoundingly opposite of one another; the first one being hard, rigid, and highlighting with its lighting approach and the second being soft, approachable, and relaxed.

  • Jessica McCoy

    The different light techniques that were used in the above photograph have specific purposes. In the photograph titled “Isamu Nogochi,” by Irving Penn there is side light that is used. The purpose of the hard side light is to intensify the emotions in the subjects facial expression. Just by looking at the picture you instantly become curious about the emotions the man is portraying. The different light technique also helps show the older age of the subject matter.
    In the second photograph titled, “Stacks of Wheat,” by Claude Monet there is much less emotions that are displayed. The photograph instead has a calming and relaxing feel to it. This is because of the natural light that is used. The colors blend together and have a blurred appearance.

  • Samantha Schierman

    When comparing “Stacks of Wheat” by Claude Monet and “Isamu Nogochi” by Irving Penn, you can see that the difference in lighting creates different emotions and meaning than each other. Monet’s piece uses landscape to display a positive and appealing emotions to the viewers. The landscape plus it’s lighting gives off a calm feeling. Penn’s photograph of the man uses side light to illuminate only a small portion of his face. This light provokes mysterious and eerie emotions among the viewers. The light shows the man’s portion to provide a subject. His wrinkles informs us that he is elder and the expression on his face demonstrates the emotions.

  • Nicole Haedtke

    Claude Monet’s “Stacks of Wheat” evokes a relaxed feeling and as though I am looking right into a field was the sun is going down. I really like how it is so natural and literally what the field looked like when he painted it. Irving Penn’s “Isamu Nogochi” is a stunning example of side light. By taking that approach Penn was able to draw all the attention to the front of the man’s face. The man’s face is conveying emotion causing the viewer to be intrigued. The two lighting techniques are very different (natural and artificial) however, through these works we can see that they both produce beautiful pieces.

  • Kylynn Wolfe

    Both works of art convey some sort of emotion, but the type of emotion is distinguished based on the lighting. In Claude Monet’s “Stacks of Wheat” the lighting gives the audience a soothing and tranquil feeling with a lot of up-beat energy. While in Irving Penn’s “Isamu Mogochi” the emotion feeds from the expression on the mans face, while the lighting extenuates this emotion. The positioning of the lighting highlights the mans wrinkles, telling the audience the importance of his age and wisdom in his story.

  • Clayton Fox

    Monet stated it perfectly, light gives life to a landscape and since it is changing all the time the feel is always different. In the first photo the small light on the old man’s face gives more depth and meaning to the photograph. It makes it appear the man might be lonely and the small glimmer of light gives him hope. In “Stacks of Wheat” by Monet he uses the sun to create more shadow and contrast in the landscape. His use of shading and light makes it appear that the sun is setting in the right hand side of the picture. These two photos represent how light can be used to change the setting and feel of a picture.

  • ejemen aimienwauu

    Monet said it himself “ for me, landscape does not exist in
    its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding
    atmosphere brings it to life- the light and the air which vary continually.”
    Both works of art show different uses of light. Isamu Nogochi is a good example
    of sidelight. The light focuses on the center of his face, this gives the
    picture more depth as you wonder what he is looking at. This also gives the
    image a more serious feeling to it. The lightening in the artwork “Stacks of
    wheat” gives a more relaxed feeling. It looks like the sun is calmly setting on
    the farm, as the farmer watches his farmland.

  • kacey brausen

    Both photographs give off different emotions because of the lighting that was used. In Monet’s “Stacks of Wheat” the lighting makes the viewers feel happy with the bright colors. While in Penn’s “Isamu Mogochi” the lighting is placed on the mans face showing and emphasizing his wrinkles. I would think he is a man with a lot of knowledge but his emotions on his face make him seem like he is scared of something.

  • Alex Plank

    Claude Monet captures his photograph “Stacks of Wheat” in a way that gives off a more relaxed, or comfortable feeling. It almost looks as if the sun is setting and everything is peaceful. Irving Penn’s photograph “Isamu Mogochi” focuses the lighting on the face of the man. The lighting emphasizes the wrinkles in his face, and gives off a feeling of a mystery. This leaves the viewer wondering what this man has been through, and what he’s thinking about. Both of these photographs are good examples of the use of lighting in photographs. The lighting can give off many different emotions, or themes in a photograph.

  • Ashley

    The use of side light on a portrait like this creates a soothing an controlled, intense feeling. It is artificial hard light. I think it has to be one of my favorites ways to capture someone. Irving Penn’s “Isamu Mogochi” provokes concern and wonder as you look into the mans eyes. It truly is beautiful how the light captures the years on his face, however it is hard to look away from his eyes. As, I am not sure what the meaning is in this photo, I know this is a man that knows exactly whatever it is he is living as.

    In “Stacks of Wheat” by Claude Monet there is a warmth throughout the entire image. There is less emotion and intensity. The air like pinks and light yellows are a use of soft light, having very little contrast. These two photos are perfect examples of polar opposites.

  • Breanna Huening

    Monet described that landscape doesn’t have an existence without lighting. This makes a lot of sense because landscape always looks a lot better when light is shining on flowers of landscape. In the Monet photograph of the Stack of Wheat, the photo shows a lot of lighting, which makes the photo have a “happy” feeling. In the photograph of the man, the lighting is portrayed on his face, which shows his emotions. With the light on his face the viewer can see the sadness in his face, and makes the viewer curious to what the man is looking at. Between the two photographs the “Stack of Wheat” gives the viewer a happy and calm feeling and the the photograph of the man is a more serious photograph.

  • Sarah

    The portrait above is a great example of how the right lighting and angle of the light can emphasize the meaning of the photo. The side light chosen in the photograph of the man not only highlights the man’s face making it the subject it also draws you to his eyes. He isn’t looking directly at you but more so off to the right which spikes curiosity as to what he is looking at.

    Monet’s landscape photo has lighting that makes it look like the sun is rising. It gives of a very warm feeling and it can make you feel as if you are sitting in the field being portrayed.

  • Bader Albalawi

    The picture of the man with the artificial light directed above his head gives a feeling of ambiguity and seriousness while the painting by Monet usage of chiaroscuro gives a feeling of joy and warmth due to the natural light source and the bright colors it reflects.

  • Mari Dwyer

    The picture of the man shows that artificial light was used to create this photo. The light is above his head which gives the photo a more dramatic effect. The portrait of the older man has a calming effect to it the more I look at it, but the tone of seriousness is still there. Now if it is compared to the second photo, the second photo is full of a warm natural sunshine. The photo of the wheat compared to the man is filled with less strong emotions. These two photos seem to be complete opposite with emotions and the differences in the lighting that was used to create these photos.

  • Hannah Herrera

    Isamu Noguchi by Irving Penn uses hard, artificial lighting from the top which gives a feeling of seriousness to the viewer. Stacks of Wheat by Claude Monet gives hard, evening back lighting which casts long and dramatic shadows but is more relaxed than the photo by Irving Penn.

  • Pang Carter

    In the first photo the light is dark and gloomy. It makes you feel sad almost because it’s so dark. The second photo makes you feel happy because it’s so bright and beautiful. It allows you to see all the different elements.

  • Claude Monet captured the haystacks in the evening as the sun was setting to the right creating a back light creating a shadow in the fore front. I think the picture gives the viewers a chill content mood. When looking at “Isamu Mogochi” by Irving Penn the harsh light casted over his face creates shadows around the mans face bringing forth the highlights of his face from the artificial light. The man looking at the camera with a very serious look makes the viewers wonder who the man is, what he is thinking, why he looks so serious.

  • Hannah McGlone

    The portrait above has a very little light and it seems to have top light and that creates drastic features on the man’s face. Where as the Haystacks are just very bright and lilt well.

  • Rachel Boehmke

    In the portrait by Irving Penn, the heavy shadows surrounding the subjects face serve to emphasize the well lit portions, especially the mans eye and nose. It also conveys a feeling of seriousness and drama. Monet’s haystacks are depicted in a warm, yellow light. This creates a feeling of contentment and happiness.

  • sydney croft

    Claude Monet’s “Stack of Wheat ( End of Summer)” gives off a feeling of relaxation and calmness. Monet uses hard light to bring out the colors of the hay stacks, grass, and trees which gives the painting an overall warm feeling. “Siam Mogochi” photographed by Irving Penn is the opposite of Claude Monet’s painting. Penn uses side lighting to emphasize the man’s face. With the light focused on the mans face the viewer can see his emotions clearly as well as all of the details on the mans face.

  • Ben Barner

    Irving Penn’s Isamu Noguchi gives an example of top light. It creates a focal point on the man’s face. It makes the viewer question the meaning of the man, his identity, his motives. Monet’s Stack of Wheat has a different feeling to it. It seems more relaxed. The light comes from the setting sun in the background, casting shadows in the fore ground.

  • Jade Spaulding

    Irving Penn uses very little light to show the seriousness and sternness of the man. The light shinning right on his face shows all of the lines and signs of aging in his face. Claude Monet’s painting is very bright and gives off the feelings of joy, peace, and serenity.

  • Melody Vang

    The power of lighting can be used to change and set the feeling of a picture. Monet stated, light gives life to a landscape and since it
    is changing all the time the feel is always different.The first
    photo gives the old man’s face more depth and a deeper meaning
    to the photograph. It set the mood of a sense of gloominess. The image by Monet, he
    uses the sun to create more warm tones and a warm mood.

  • Noah Loos

    In both photos above, the different use of hard and soft light is what makes the biggest difference of both photos. Using hard light, the portrait of the old man seems intensified by the harsh contrast between the dark shadows and white light on his face. In Monet’s painting, there is more soft light that is used, which causes the photo to seem more relaxed without any harsh light contrast being present.

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