Inspired by Saul Leiter. Chiaroscuro and spotlight effects.

This week, I am sharing with you some pictures of mine, with a little bit of Saul Leiter style, and am offering some tips to follow his lead.
Feel free to read first the article with his own impressive pictures, if you want to.


Composing, after Saul Leiter

Picking pictures with a little bit of Saul Leiter style, in my own database, made me realize why his photographs are, really, so strong.

He used so much ways to lead our eye that the subject obviously pop out of the pictures!
It’s incredible to notice how Saul Leiter used composition to serve the photographs legibility.

What all his pictures have in common is a differentiated impact of the picture’s areas.





Chiaroscuro and spotlight effects

The first thing I remember of my feelings, discovering Saul Leiter work, was to be astonished by his use of light.

Indeed, Saul Leiter lays shadows near lit areas and create, this way, a really strong contrast.
Moreover, when the sun is shining, the subject seems to be under the spotlights and its impact is incontestable!




Following the lead of Saul Leiter,

Look at the light.
Notice when a beam of light lit especially a subject to enhance its impact!

[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Use underexposure to darken shadows and make subjects pop up. Increase darkening and contrast during the post-processing.
[icon name=”fa-arrow-circle-right”] Compose for the lit areas, like during night snapshots, to create strong and harmonious pictures.






Do you like to seek spotlight beams of light, use chiaroscuro and change your surroundings in a stage?
Pictures like this can be created in any season at any time, depending of the street angle, the place etc.

Observe that, in all my photons color is working with light to enhance the subject’s impact.




I wish you wonderful spotlight pictures!


  • Alexander

    What a wonderful image that Pattisier one !
    I like your website and your comments. It is short, simple and you talk about important things. That shows you know what you are talking about. And when a comment is supported by a first class image like that one, I take notice, stop and think about it. I will come back. Have Happy New Year, happy shooting!
    Thank you. Alex.

    • Anne-Laure Jacquart

      Hi Alexander,

      Thank you so much for your comment!
      I am really happy to read you because I have very very few comments on the translated articles and I was even wondering if someone read my gibberish in English (is it however OK? Isn’t it too much awful to read me??!!)!

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I am glad you like my pictures, especially the first one, and my talking about photography. 🙂

      See you soon, then, and happy new year too ! 😀

  • stash

    Nice shots.

    Saul Leiter is one of my favorite artists.HAve you seen ‘Revolutionary Road’? It is a bleak film, but many of cinematographic shots in the train station are suppossedly inspired by his compositions.

    Check it out!

  • Anne-Laure Jacquart

    Thank you so much for your comment, Stash!
    I havn’t seen this film yet but I would be interesting to see it!

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