A high key image mostly consists of highlights and mid-tones, is generally bright and even, and delicately toned, often with pastel and/or white shades. ...
The opposite of high key is of course low key. Instead of eliminating shadows as in high key photography, low key photographers utilize dark scenes and heavy contrast to convey a sense of drama or foreboding.
This challenge was inspired by Proud American-252641's experiment with high-key photography.
Great images using these lighting techniques can be shot with minimal equipment and/or natural backgrounds and lighting. The images to the right were shot under these conditions. The high-key image, Rocky's Natural Habitat, was shot against a snow bank on a cloudy day, using the 'cloudy' white balance setting on the camera. For the low-key, a lamp in a dark room and a box (placed next to the lamp to cast a shadow behind, making a dark background unnecessary) was used; the white-balance was set to 'more vivid'.
A. MacArthur offers this advice to those with point and shoot cameras:
[Try looking for] shots that may be either underexposed ... too dark, or overexposed ... too light and then trying to find subjects and situations that "work" as such. Some scenes will be overexposed because they defy the camera's light meter ... same for underexposed.
[Search] for excessively light and dark scenes/compositions ... take those shots as they are and then, shoot them again using the exposure compensation feature OR meter/focus on different parts of the scene, hold the release half-way down while recomposing and shoot again ... repeat ... that should make for an interesting set of images from which to choose.
Be sure to include the tag, high-key-low-key, and please provide a link to your submissions in this article.
This article is an activity of Newsvine Photographers. Participating members develop photo essays on a monthly theme, using existing images, or by shooting new ones.
Per group guidelines, all photographs are original.
© Benjamin Pecka 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission.