low keys, high key, and an angel


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Wurdelak

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#1
having fun doing some low key shots... tried high key as well... not an expert for both shots, trying to learn and improve, so please help me with your advice and suggestions about taking these kinda shots! thank you!:)

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stare



amelia
 

Wurdelak

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#2
a high key shot...


mary


took this shot coz i think this angel is very cute... the sun was directly at the back, how do i make a nicer shot in that kind of situation?:dunno:



cherubim
 

cabbySHE

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#3
Hello pal,

in my opinion, these pic are not high or low key...they are simply wrong key. Perhaps you did not get the real meaning of hi and lo key photos.
 

Wurdelak

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#4
Hello pal,

in my opinion, these pic are not high or low key...they are simply wrong key. Perhaps you did not get the real meaning of hi and lo key photos.
so, how do i do a low key or high key shot? any advice? FYI, i used the auto settings (low key) in my d5000 for these shots... guidance please... thanks!
 

cabbySHE

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#5
Most beginners trying their hand on lo-hi key photography falls to believes that over expose will delivers hi-key and under exposure will be lo-key, of which the truth is not like that.
On the contrary the exposure has to be perfectly accurate in order to get the best result of hi-lo key. This going to be a lengthy one ....for your sake.

Let's start from the beginning. Normal photograph will usually consist a variety of tones. Basically will be divided into hi-light ( white area ), midtone ( grey zone )and shadows ( dark/black area ) these are reflected in the eye droppers of levels and also histogram of photoshop image editing software.

When producing hi-lo key pictures, the effect/purpose is to eliminate those midtone grey zone and compress the subject and backgrd into a dual tone image. ( but there can be also some or little grey tone)

One very important key factor for these type of picture to excel is..high contrast.
Next...the subject has got to have a strong profile or outline contour so that the delineation will be neat between tone change.

Most successful hi-lo key pictures are done in a " controlled " situation.

" Controlled " meaning the photographer can contol the background, e.g. by providing a white backdrop, a window that create glare, a dark wall or black velvet curtain etc.

The subject also be " controlled " to dress in white or black to suit the effect going for.

Then the light source also got to be " controlled ".

Either an array of flood light shining thro a scrim to get those wash away hi-light effect or a focusing spot light just to pin-point on the subject and let the rest merge into the dark background.
A studio would be ideal but a corner of the room with some innovation also can achieve similar result.
Metering will usually be a spot meter or using the incident meter reading method instead of the reflected type.

Common hi-lo key subject/topic are usually portraiture, wedding, pictorial still life, commercial product, fashions etc.

Rarely seen topic using hi-lo key are...scenery, landscape, nature, close up, animals, foods illustration, documentary, journalist reportage, sports event, graduation, convocation, head of states group pictures etc.

If my research is correct ( stand to be corrected, anyone ) the Chinese black n white brush painting were the pioneer in using hi-key technique well before photography.

When painting koi fishes in a lotus pond, a few dab of black ink, carving out the lively profile of the fishes swimming and a leaf or two of the lotus and leaving the rest of the paper white/blank. Viewers will automatically interpret the white area as water. Isn't it amazing.

There are some photographers using IR black n white images to create successful hi-key landscape/scenery.

With these guide, hopefully, your next attempt will be improved.
 

cabbySHE

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#6
Base on traditional guide, there are certain subject suitable for hi and lo key.

Hi-key : joyful, happiness, youth, baby/infant, teens, lost, blank, heaven, angel etc.

Lo-key : sombre, sad, tragic, old age, loneliness, helpless, elegant, mystery, death, crime,evil etc.

But there are exception...as for the Chinese...black or white also can signify death, and also most ghost/spirit appear in white too.
 

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Wurdelak

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#7
hey, this is of great help... thank you very much!!! pretty excited to try these tips! may the force be with you... will try to post again after i tried...:):):)
 

Wurdelak

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cabbySHE

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#10
As can be seen in the example " linked ", all are " controlled " situation.
those outdoor images posted, taken at back yard of Armenian Church does have a resemblance of lo-key, cause of the dark tone. However, as it is an outdoor location, many of the other background factor cannot be " controlled ".

You can learn hi-low key by watching a good movie on a DVD, so that you can pause/freeze frame when the scene appear and then study the lighting....but the end is ...all effect are " controlled ".
 

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