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Old Jun 29, 2003, 1:59 PM   #1
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Default How to shoot "high Key"

I am taking a PhotoShop class this summer at local community college, and have seen some cool examples of B&W images that almost look like pencil sketches. The PhotoShop book says to start with a picture that is taken in "high key". From what I can understand, this means lots of highlights and no shadows. How do I take such a "high key" photo? I assume that I would use a white background, but don't really know what else to do. I am shooting with a Nikon Coolpix 5700. Thanks!
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Old Jun 29, 2003, 3:09 PM   #2
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To do this you need the largest dynamic range you can get, and preferably noise free. You have little control of dynamic range on a digicam, so have good light and try to achieve max contrast without white clipping. Perhaps shoot a stop lower than the metered value. Plain white backgrounds might confuse the metering, so bracket exposures and use Histogram check to just keep the highlight out of the white clipper (value 255). You may have problems with fine detail edges such as hair.

I've used outline drawing packages a few times, in Corel Draw it pays to convert images to grey and play around with the contrast levels and gamma to stretch the black and whites, before applying the outline filter. Pics must be noise free to get the cleanest edges. I've only tried this on bitmaps so I'm wondering whether JPEG might give you smoother edges which won't filter well.

I think if you can capture clean noise free images, your success will depend on how you process the image afterwards, to artificially create the 'High Key' effect, before applying the outline filter.
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