The frescoes in St. Martin’s Basilica. Weingarten, Germany.
© Stuart J. Sia

Sciagraphy is a design technique using the shading and projection of shadows to show perspective in architectural and technical drawings. The first part of the word scia- comes from the Greek word σκιά (skia), meaning shadow. Also Greek in origin, the second part -graphy is  derived from γράφειν (gráfein), meaning to draw. The dictionary defines sciagraphy as “the art or science of projecting or delineating shadows as they fall in nature.”

Siagraphy.com is a photojournalism blog.

Applying the term’s definition to photojournalism illustrates two points. The first is that what is not there matters as much as what is. French composer Claude Debussy once described music as the space between the notes. A photograph’s subject owes its form and structure to shadow as much as light. The truth often lies in darkness, awaiting exposure and illumination. This is no less true in telling the stories of those whose lives play out in the shadows, in the margins.

The second point is that what most differentiates photojournalism from other photography is its profound commitment to faithful rendition. Pictures are captured “as they fall in nature.” They are not staged or manufactured.

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