Slava Semeniuta Explores Light and Darkness Through “Splitting” Portraits

All photos by Slava Semeniuta. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Russian artist and photographer Slava Semeniuta has been one of our go-to creatives when it comes to imagery dripping in vibrant and surreal colors. His latest portrait series is no exception. Titled Splitting, this body of work is a great example of creative use of lighting for emotive and clever portrait photography. If you’re looking for experimental visuals for your next portrait work, we’re sure you’ll pick up some ideas and inspiration from this series!

Semeniuta, who also goes by the moniker Local Preacher, considers himself a Visual Scientist, and one can’t help but agree after seeing his stunning projects like Wet Neon and Ghetto Streets on Acid. If these previous series put the focus on painting the town in trippy hues or finding neon beauty in the streets, Splitting plays with light and colors to create an equally vibrant but also moody portraiture.

As we can see in this series, our featured photographer made clever use of light to design the titular “splitting” of his bare subjects. Lines and curves of bright light both illuminate and “cut” through their faces and bodies. By choosing to make this series predominantly red and black, we sense a variety of emotions like tension, melancholy, and maybe even dread. That said, it’s impressive to see all these elements come together given the simplicity of his setup.

Splitting makes a great case for the myriad of creative possibilities that studio work allows, especially for experimental portrait photography. So if you’ve yet to try tinkering with lights and colors in the studio, we hope this set inspire you to do so and put some bold and bright ideas to work.

Want to get inspired with more color plays and striking visual imagery? Check out Slava Semeniuta’s Behance portfolio and follow him on Instagram to see more of his colorful and hypnotic photography.