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High Key & Low Key Photography

Low key photography


Low key photography means that you use the light to accentuate certain parts of the image. The image will consist mostly of dark tones and colors. The entire image will be rather dramatic.

This effect can be obtained by using natural light or artificial lighting. I have used both.


Why I like low key photography


For those of you that are already familiar with my work, most of my images are on the "moodier" side. I like my images dark, full of mystery. To me, low key photography leaves a lot to the imagination of the viewer. There's always the enigma of what is hidden in the darkness.


I get a lot of critique on that during my photography course. They say I'm losing detail, there's too much dark negative space, ... And they're all right of course! But to me, it's not lost detail, it's an opportunity for the viewer to add their own thoughts.


Anyway, below a few examples of my low key images. Most of them are obviously horse photography and pet photography but I did sneak in one of our daughter. I always love how her red hair pops, no matter how I take the photograph.


Why I wanted to try high key photography


I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and decided to go the opposite way. In comes high key photography.

For high key images, you will use bright lighting to take out almost all of the shadows. Again, this can be done by using bright natural light or by using artificial lighting. High key photography is fun, cheerful and makes for upbeat images. From what I've seen on instagram, many influencers like to use this technique.


So here are a few of my attempts to this style. As you can guess by the low number of images I can include in this post, I have to really work hard to take my images this way and I don't do it often 😊


Although I like the high key for certain images and in certain situations, my preference still goes to the low key set up. I guess I'm just a drama queen 🤣


#highkeyphotography #lowkeyphotography