High Key

13 of 51 – High Key


Here we are with this week’s theme, High Key.

Yesterday I was at the dentist’s, and I thought that was the perfect setup to shoot: the perfect brightness of the dental operating light, the Doctor and his Assistant dressed in white, pure white walls.

Unfortunately, I was the one being operated and could not take advantage of the situation…

Anyway, just like Low Key (last week’s theme), the use of high key is pretty much a stylistic choice in photography.

Low and High key are “the twin extremes of brightness and contrast”, as this interesting article defines them.

[su_spoiler title=”History of the terms” style=”fancy” icon=”arrow-circle-2″]It started in the movie industry, and the key in question is what lighting cameramen called the key light, in other words the main light for a scene. This is slightly old-fashioned by now, because lighting equipment has changed, (…), and modern digital sensors mean that you can film without relying on fixed studio lights; (…). In old movie terminology, there was the key light, the fill light and backlight, and together they made up the standard three-point lighting that was standard for run-of-the-mill productions. The advantage was purely practical and financial: three-point lighting lit everything predictably and brightly, avoiding contrast (…). A production team could shoot scenes faster by not having to change the lighting very much each time. High-key became the term for this, but as time passed and this kind of filming became passé, it came to mean a brightly lit scene with low contrast overall, became more used in still photography than movies and video. (from http://www.manfrottoschoolofxcellence.com/2016/10/high-key-low-key/) [/su_spoiler]

High-key lighting simply refers to images that are mostly bright, with a range of light tones and whites and not very many blacks or mid-tones.

Here is my attempt:

High Key
ISO400 – 1/160 sec. f/5

I used a window as background: the sunlit curtains spread the light like a diffuser, so I did not have to use the flash or any other artificial light. But in next days I’d like to try the “studio settings” as well. If you want to send me your son, I’ll take his portrait while he makes bubbles with the nose 🙂

Have a nice day!


The Project

51 weeks Photo project

Posts created 105

se vuoi, scrivimi cosa pensi :)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top