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Old Sep 6, 2004, 2:59 PM   #1
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<--- Idiot.

Why have I made such a fuss about this? I've taken high key and low key shits before. And why has it taken me so long to realise this? :roll:
I don't take low key shots very often, I'm not a huge fan. I do like taking high key shots though. Like vito, except completely different. :lol:

Anyway, here are two (three) I took today. Sorry for the larger than normal images, I can't really resize these without making them look worse than they already are.

Low Key


High Key

As a photo it's utter rubbish. I'll re-do it tomorrow. But as an entry it's fine. Even though the link vito posted said high key shots can't have reflections I (with my vast knowledge of, erm, seven months...) disagree.

And how is this for extreme low key?
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 3:25 PM   #2
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ferny wrote:
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I've taken high key and low key shits before.


LOL - OK - I haven't even waited for these to load. Not sure if I want to, after reading the above quote :-)Typo?
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 4:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
I've taken high key and low key shits before.
Yes, it took a lot of nerve for me to scroll down any further...

mactek
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 5:51 PM   #4
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Hey Ferny,

I hope you'll forgive the somewhat longer post...

I've only started into photography in earnest the past month or so, but I've been playing with images a lot longer (Gimp development and tinkering). You can blame the Digital Rebel for my new obsession :-)

I find the middle picture nice, but not particularly high-key. The reflections do hurt matters; I'm not going to say they can never be in a high-key shot, but the idea of high-key isn't there. My impression of high-key from looking at examples I liked (mostly from photo.net) is that its a minimalist shot - implying a lot by having only key curves visible (via a constant intense light hiding the shadows, selective overexposure, or digital manipulation after the fact). There's really nothing "left out" in your shot, so I have a hard time calling it high-key.

I think the same thing of low-key actually - the only difference is that you're hiding what isn't important in shadows rather than white (aside-has anyone tried a high-key on anything but white? Maybe a bright red, yellow or the like? I'm not sure what the setup would look like, but if anyone has hints please drop them). Selective lighting is very important in low-key - every shot I've seen that I've admired has come from a non-traditional light source (slats overhead, diffraction patterns, that kinda thing). That might just be personal taste, but I think its implied in the shot type. I suppose someone with enough PS skill can make a good low key shot, but I've never seen it; light is too tricky to freehand well, especially when its going to be the focus of the image.

One thing that should be noted - in high-key shots, you need something not-so-high-key to keep it from being _totally_ washed out (mostly washed out is fine). In low-key shots, you need something not-so-low-key to not make it just look underexposed.

If you're reshooting anyway, I'd love to see your model 1/2 or more in shadow, with a pattern of light playing over the rest of it. (a simple strip maybe? Or pick one feature you like and hilight it and let the light bounce around the rest of it. Maybe just light the interior with a pen-light?). Put it on a black backdrop for the sake of simplicity.

Light is what photos are all about, and I've discovered its a tricky partner to dance with. For whomever came up with the idea, thanks for the exercise. I've learned a lot and I look forward to the next dance.

-Seth
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Old Sep 6, 2004, 6:11 PM   #5
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Nice shots, seem to meet the challenge and also the funniest post in a while.....That O and I are treacherously close on the QWERTY......
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Old Sep 7, 2004, 4:37 AM   #6
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Ooops. Yes, a typo. :shock: Adds weight to the topic title though, doesn't it. :lol:
Thanks for looking at the post anyway.

Sjburges, although I agree that that what you are describing are high key shots, I don't feel they are the only type. I'm starting to see a trend with high key and low key shots which were done by people with lots more experience than me. All of the low key shots have a dark background and all of the high key shots have a light background. You don't need to lose any detail from the subject. You can just leave it as it is. The whole point, from my understanding, is to have a photograph which only contains the subject. So no distracting backgrounds to take your eyes away from the subject. Then, if you wish, you use lighting to add emotion and that'll be entering your understanding of low and high key.
Flick through a magazine and you'll see loads of adverts for aftershave, shower gel and cars using high and low key shots. I'll flick through some old magazines later and post ones I find, with monkeys permission. I'll won't be editing the adverts so I think it's ok to do this.

For the high key shot I used two large square white plates, one acting as the background. I've done it before (click here for an example it was edited in PSP7 or 8 to change the background, remove the lead etc) but it hasn't worked well here. The curved surface shows up too much. It looks rubbish frankly. The only lighting source was a window behind the plates. I think I'll use them again, but with a white cloth over their surface. It'll give me a uniform colour to, rather than two shades of white. Here's one using white photo paper.

For the low key I threw a black towel (which is going grey with use) over the plates. The lighting sources were five 20w halogen bulbs in the ceiling, a 60w lamp pointing at the front wheel and a little bit of daylight mincing around to. Digicams can't be beaten in these situations can they? :lol: I had to be careful not to show the texture of the towel.

I think, with regards to low key, this is the limit of the camera when taking a dark photo. I had lots of noise and rouge pixels. You can still see noise on the car. My camera is an old entry level point and shoot remember. Of course, I could take the other route with low key and have the subject perfectly lit but use a dark background. I just can't use a fading black towel. :lol:
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Old Sep 7, 2004, 6:58 AM   #7
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So very glad I revisited this post! Those are great - The last is so moody it's my favorite. You got a lot of good comment (Serious comment!) on this.

Seth, so glad you're getting into photography - you do a great job of it! And the digital rebel is fun, isn't it?!?!
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Old Sep 15, 2004, 12:43 PM   #8
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I thought I'd try and sneak this in just before the new challenge gets under way. I hope that's ok.

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Old Sep 15, 2004, 1:20 PM   #9
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Very nice! Of course it's OK! :-)
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Old Sep 16, 2004, 8:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
I've taken high key and low key shits before

HAHAHAHAHA okay 2nd grade humour coming into play
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