HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY

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My journey into high key photography started with a. dandelion which led to experimenting with still life. and flower photography and then I veered off into,fine art self portraiture. All of these images were shot in my studio spare,bedroom with white walls and natural window. light No flash no fancy lighting setup and no new, expensive gear had to be purchased to create these. high key images,High key photography is used a lot for weddings. especially bride portraits It s also used for,photographing newborns portraits in general.
boudoir work food and studio still life photography. Professionals are likely to use big fancy lighting. setups but you can still get a really nice effect,with some good natural light through a window. or a white wall and then use some creative post,processing. Here is what you will learn from this guide,What a high key photograph is. The setup and gear needed to create a simple,high key shot. The process of shooting a high key photograph,How to use post processing for the high key.
Photograph by Stacey Hill, HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 2. WHAT IS A HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPH, High key photography is defined as an image that The middle of the histogram indicates those middle. contains very little in the way of shadows or dark tones that aren t dark or light they are in the. tones A high key photo contains mostly very white middle. or light toned colors It is bright and it may possibly. contain purposefully overexposed areas in the frame When you expose more to the right it brings in more. lighter tones to the photograph,Normally when we shoot our images the aim is to. expose them correctly for the lighting situation that But be careful Don t go so far that you blow out the. you have at hand highlights when the whites have no detail and simply. appear as big flat blobs of white,Many people shoot a little to the right which. means that they deliberately set the camera to Sometimes especially in high key photography we. overexpose the shot may want to push the exposure all the way into the. light bright areas of the histogram, This creates a histogram that is balanced a little more.
to the right It is a viable creative choice especially in high key. photography but it can be a little daunting when you. The left edge of the histogram indicates the blacks first give it a go. and shadow tones within the photograph,The right edge of the histogram indicates the. highlights whites and lighter tones, HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 3. The amount of high key application can,vary greatly to where the background is. very white and the subject is still fairly,correctly exposed all the way through. to images that have hardly any shadows,middle tones or detail at all These are.
very stylistic high key photos,Photograph by Stacey Hill. When you shoot and expose for the,far right side of the histogram into. the right or the bright white tones,this style of photograph is called. high key A low key photograph is,the opposite it has a preponderance. of shadows and darker tones, HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 4.
Opinions will of course vary as to whether,a photograph is artistic or just simply. overexposed,My approach is to go with what feels,right for the particular image So don t. be afraid to push the boundaries,beyond what typically makes you feel. comfortable,Photograph by Stacey Hill, HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 5. Let s look at a normally exposed image,based on the camera meter and its.
Photograph by Stacey Hill, This is back lit with window light and to the eye looks a little dull and dark The histogram. is visible in the top right and is fairly evenly distributed across the mid range. HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 6. This image is much whiter and brighter,While the shadows are still present as. they were in the image on the previous,page they are much lighter in tone as a. result of my post processing,The histogram reflects this by being. pushed to the far right,Yet the image still has textural detail.
We can see the soft fluff of the dandelions,as well as the folds and shadows in the. white fabric of the background We can,also see the texture underneath the. dandelions,Photograph by Stacey Hill, Here is a different image shot from the same shoot This has been processed for a high key effect. HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 7. When I shot these images there was no particular Key Lesson Editing for high key requires. plan to edit them this way a lot of file data to be available Shoot in. camera RAW to optimize your final image,It evolved as I experimented within Lightroom. outcome Also when pushing the boundaries, Had I planned for a high key outcome I probably of tone do not push so far that you lose.
would have exposed the image further to the right important detail Review the images on pages. and thus captured more information in light to the 6 and 7 In the processed image on page 7. white end of the histogram the tones have been pushed to the right but. not so far that the highlights have been, Because the image was shot in the camera RAW clipped. format the file contained sufficient information so. that it could be edited this way in Lightroom Recommended Reading If you want to. learn how to enhance your photos and create,I recommend that you always shoot in camera RAW. better images grab a copy of Photzy s premium,but especially when attempting high or low key. guide Ultimate Guide to Fundamental Editing,imagery The RAW file format contains so much more. data than a JPEG image file and it allows for more. scope in creative editing and pushing the boundaries. HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 8. SETUP AND GEAR, You may choose to use studio lights or an electronic If you have slower lenses with the fastest aperture.
flash to illuminate your background and your being in the range of f 4 to f 5 6 and the available. subject light is low then you might want to consider bringing. some extra lights Bringing in more light will help you. My process does not cater to that setup as I do not keep your ISO settings lower. have studio lights or multiple flash units,As for positioning the subject in high key. Plus I prefer to work with natural light as it gives photography I use two options. softer more natural shadows I also have the added, benefit that it shines right inside my studio window 1 The rear of the subject to the right wall behind. for free the cat, My gear is as follows This positioning gives a nice neutral background. and side lighting which I find useful as it, Canon 7d MK II provides natural shadows This gives the image. Canon 50mm F1 8mm lens a more three dimensional appearance when. Canon 100mm F2 8 IS L macro lens processed with a high key effect. Canon 17 55 F2 8 IS lens, Manfrotto tripod legs and an Acratech tripod 2 The rear of the subject is in front of the window.
head so that the lighting comes behind the subject. RRS L plate, Wireless remote camera release This lighting setup can make for tricky. exposures especially if the light from, Lenses that are considered fast mean that when the window is bright However in some. they are wide open you are looking at an aperture circumstances it gives a really nice. in the F1 F2 range I recommend fast lenses as these effect especially when using fabric as the. will bring in as much light as possible backlighting adds more interest and softness. HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 9. Key Lesson Studio lights may,be an ideal but unachievable. solution good window light and a,white background wall fabric is an. easy and affordable option With,window light it typically works.
better if there is no direct sunlight,passing through it Pick a window. on the shadow side of your,shooting space If there is no other. option than a window with direct,sunlight hang a sheer white cloth. in front of the window to help,soften and diffuse the light. Photograph by Stacey Hill, This is my studio white walls and a large window at the end I usually.
drape that with some thin white fabric to further soften and diffuse the. light coming through the window This helps tone down the highlights and. makes the edges of the shadows softer The cat is an optional extra. HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 10. SHOOTING A HIGH KEY IMAGE, As previously mentioned to have the most control I usually shoot against the right wall because the. over your lighting and exposure for high key angle of the sun as it moves across the room I m in. photography studio lights are handy the southern hemisphere throws the light from the. The typical setup is to have a pair of lights evenly. lighting the background one from each side and If I set up my shooting space with the right wall as. another pair lighting the subject the background I will then get the light coming over. my left shoulder directly onto the subject,That s a total of four lights. This helps me expose properly and it also helps to. Not everyone has the space or the money to afford minimize shadows. this kind of setup,You ll need to evaluate your own situation and. You can manage with some good natural light a then pick the best space to set up your high key. neutral white wall shoot in camera RAW and then a photography. lot of scope in post processing is available to you. From the photo of my studio you can see that I have. a nice sized window and a lot of neutral walls, HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 11. This dandelion image was shot with the,window as the background you can see.
the fabric of the translucent curtains,The dandelion is dark because I have. exposed for the background so that it s,not too blown out I did not shoot to. the right and that was a purposeful,decision Shooting to the right would. have rendered the background without,any detail In this case it makes sense. to create the high key effect primarily in,post processing as I can then control.
where all of the tones will fall onto the,Photograph by Stacey Hill. HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 12. This image of the white flowers is also,shot with the window as a background. it s been further draped with a more,opaque fabric so less texture is visible. As a result of the more opaque fabric,background some of the foreground is in. shadow as is the corner of the wall visible,off to the left With high key photography.
especially when the lighting is backlit,you walk a fine line between a properly. presented high key image and one that,is simply grossly overexposed The upper. background areas of this photo were,grossly overexposed on purpose to help. separate the flowers from the background,and to give the image an ethereal quality. I took some creative liberty with this high,key shot However if you want to be a.
purist you should have some portion of,the frame at or near absolute black This. brings a full contrast range back to the,shot The image on page 7 is a good. example of that Most of the image is,white However there are some small. areas that are near or at absolute black,Photograph by Stacey Hill. HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 13. This is a flat laying setup in the lounge,area of my home where I have a glass.
ranchslider door taking up most of a,wall This was shot in late morning on. a slightly overcast day so the sunlight is,nicely filtered This image did not need a. lot of post processing to take it into high,key territory. Key Lesson There are three,important elements to creating a. high key photograph the lighting,the post processing and as.
illustrated in the image on the left,the choice of subject and props If I. had chosen a background that was,darker in tone this would not be a. high key image and nothing in,post processing could have turned. it into a high key image without the,end result looking pretty awful. Choose your subject and props,carefully A good rule of thumb in.
Photograph by Stacey Hill high key imaging is that a good. 85 of the frame should be in the,highlight to white end of the. histogram This image is,approximately 85, HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 14. The percentage can be higher The,post processed photo of the. dandelions on page 7 is,approximately 95 on the white. end of the histogram and the,image of the white flowers on page.
13 is 100 to the right on the,If you want to shoot high key images. an important step is to set up the shot,to work in your favor For the raspberry. shot on the left the background consists,of white painted boards and a bright. white fabric Remember the Key Lesson,I m choosing my props and background. material on the white light tonal range,This sets up my high key image and also.
helps to make my subject pop from the,background,Key Lesson The white. background is necessary to give the,nice high key effect Secondly it. helps you expose the image,properly for the outcome you are. Photograph by Stacey Hill, HOW TO CREATE DAZZLING HIGH KEY PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTZY COM 15. the southern hemisphere throws the light from the left If I set up my shooting space with the right wall as the background I will then get the light coming over my left shoulder directly onto the subject This helps me expose properly and it also helps to minimize shadows You ll need to evaluate your own situation and then pick the best space to set up your high key photography HOW TO

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