Master of Ambient Light and Shadow

While stylistically, much of contemporary digital photography is influenced by HDR and tone mapping techniques, Chris Rayn has chosen a different path in visualizing light and shadow since his early works, employing a minimalist language with strong contrasts producing deep shadows and putting the highlight on the subject matter. Same as Rayn’s application of a rich color palette, this style is deeply rooted in the classic fine arts and provides reminiscences of the age of Baroque in particular. It gives his works a unique, dramatic look and – in his “Whisper to Heaven” project and earlier environmental portraitures – emphasizes the emotional core of his pictures.

Silhouette Technique

The most dramatic realization of backlight composition, Chris Rayn has created silhouette works since his early artistic period, long before digital photography pervaded the mainstream. They draw inspiration from the Asian shadow theater. Recently, Rayn has further developed his silhouette technique by combining it with deep shadows to create a whole new world of perception in his pivotal “Shadows of Our Selves” project, pushing his contrast realization into the surreal realm.

As Chris Rayn predominantly works with available ambient light rather than artifically lit up scenes, flash photography or computer effects, his application of light and shadow are testimony of his “canvas of nature” principle to “create from life” in authentic motives.