I use Cucoloris to enhance the drama, draw the eye and expose an emotion in my boudoir photography. With a little practice and a trained eye, you can go a little cucoloris too.
As a photographer of the female form, I love the way shadow and light add drama to an image.
I often use Cucoloristechniques as a tool to entice and distract the eye and stirring up emotion in my images.
There are conflicting origin stories about the use of Cucoloris
The artistic lighting technique was used heavily in black and white films during the 1930's and 40's. There are even references to Cucoloris being used at the Globe theater in London by Shakespeare himself. Cucoloris techniques have become popular again in many Steven Spielberg films. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark, the villains faces lit by the treasures of the Ark just before they… well, you get the picture.
Here's how I love to use Cucoloris in my work:
In my photography work, I often construct a Cucoloris from wood, screen, lace or even a window shade to create shadows and patterns across my subject. This image was made by cutting shapes into a whiteboard to create the spectral lighting pattern on the Lady in Red.
The pattern of shadow and light is strategically placed to guide the eye and create a feeling of seduction. Notice how the light falls across her voluptuous breast and thigh to draw attention to the sheerness of her red dress, while the light from the camera flash illuminates her face and her tempting look. Stunning and Hot!
Sometimes I'm able to use a natural Cucolorislike:
Using natural lighting like these is much more difficult than you might think.
You have no control over where the light falls. I recently tried it with a family portrait I was taking outside. Yes – I take family portraits as well. It was a disaster. I thought I had skimmed the light from their faces and took the shot. Later, while culling the images, I discovered that I missed one single beam of light. It shined down directly on the Dad's already prominent nose, making it look like a hook. Photo Shop to the rescue!
Once you start looking for the elusive cuculoris, you'll find them everywhere.
Try just playing with catching cuculoris with your lens whenever you're out and about.
When you get used to finding the fine edge where the light and shadow meet you'll be ready to catch images of your own.