Extreme High Key Experiment

TimothyJinx

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I really like the high key/extreme high key look. I gave it a shot tonight using a new lighting setup I hadn't tried before. Comments, constructive criticism and helpful tips are welcome!

$IMG_8896.jpg
 

Pallycow

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I normally hate the high key stuff. However I kinda like this one. My only thought is if the cheek on lower right and forehead on upper left were not blown, it would work for me better. Still a neat shot and probly fun to try out. def the right model for the job.
 

tirediron

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Very Linday Adler-esque, though, strictly speaking, not really high key, since there's a lot of shadow in the image. That said, I like it, but I think if you dropped the exposure on the face just enough to restore those blown out areas, it would be even better.
 

jaypix

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Not badly done, but I like the subject to stand out clearly against the background, which it doesn't do here ... her back, the top of her forehead, mix in with the white background. Also there are blown out highlights on her clothing. But to me technically it IS high key ...
 

KenC

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I think it works as is. The intent appears to have been to partially blend her into the background as part of the effect, and if so, pushing it back in the direction of a conventionally exposed shot would defeat the purpose. I might even lighten the hair on the left side (of the photo, not her left) including the shadow.
 
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TimothyJinx

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I normally hate the high key stuff. However I kinda like this one. My only thought is if the cheek on lower right and forehead on upper left were not blown, it would work for me better. Still a neat shot and probly fun to try out. def the right model for the job.
Thanks Pally. Yeah, it was fun!

Very Linday Adler-esque, though, strictly speaking, not really high key, since there's a lot of shadow in the image. That said, I like it, but I think if you dropped the exposure on the face just enough to restore those blown out areas, it would be even better.
You're right about the shadows. For this set up I had two lights on either side at 45 degrees pointed at the model. Then I had one center light, which really kinda acts as a fill. The center light should be directly over my camera but I don't have the head room. So I had to move it a bit to my right which results in a little shadowing on camera left. I have a small strip box I could have used but then my light isn't nearly as soft. I think we're just going to have to raise the floor in the kitchen so I can raise the ceiling in the basement! :)

Not badly done, but I like the subject to stand out clearly against the background, which it doesn't do here ... her back, the top of her forehead, mix in with the white background. Also there are blown out highlights on her clothing. But to me technically it IS high key ...
Thanks. Typically I would completely agree with you about the subject standing out! :)

I think it works as is. The intent appears to have been to partially blend her into the background as part of the effect, and if so, pushing it back in the direction of a conventionally exposed shot would defeat the purpose. I might even lighten the hair on the left side (of the photo, not her left) including the shadow.
Yeah, I was trying to get her to partially disappear into the white. And I agree about the hair - when I look at the pic my eye is immediately drawn to it because it is the darkest part of the pic. Gonna work on that.
 

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I find the background (or lack of it) a bit distracting here. There are enough cues on her to strongly indicate the direction of the principal light, which is definitely not behind her, and yet the background contends and wants us to believe that it is that principal light.

It works fine as a picture, it's got a lot going for it and it's very nice. If it was a painting, it would be perfect as what it is. As a photograph, we know that it's "real" and the fact that the light is confusing throws me off a bit.

To really make this fly as a photograph, for me, you need to kill those directionality cues, and move more toward the traditional definition of high key.
 

brian_f2.8

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I like it, I'm thinking more n more how to use this technique. It shows the art of photography and not a photo. I'm not into evenly lit photos shot on auto.

Incase I lost ya - good job.
 

frommrstomommy

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I like it.. I am drawn to the darkest area of her hair just below her face though.. I guess theres some shadowing there. That's my only nitpick. I looked at that first and then had to look for her face it felt like.
 

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I like it.. I am drawn to the darkest area of her hair just below her face though.. I guess theres some shadowing there. That's my only nitpick. I looked at that first and then had to look for her face it felt like.

This is exactly what I experience when I look at the image...I keep being drawn to the darkest shadow spot and the hair...it's a tension-inducing trick to place a dark area right next to a light area...it's an old,old compositional device. In this case though, the darkness is really hurting the high key effect for me. I think if her hair had simply been pulled around, so that there was no shadowed area, that the light, ethereal, flooded with light type of effect would have been universal throughout the entire photo, and the lighting effect would have been stronger, and just more "cohesive". Still, props for approaching this in such a different, exciting lighting style--it really is different than the normal way, and I like that about the shot.
 
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TimothyJinx

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I find the background (or lack of it) a bit distracting here. There are enough cues on her to strongly indicate the direction of the principal light, which is definitely not behind her, and yet the background contends and wants us to believe that it is that principal light.

It works fine as a picture, it's got a lot going for it and it's very nice. If it was a painting, it would be perfect as what it is. As a photograph, we know that it's "real" and the fact that the light is confusing throws me off a bit.

To really make this fly as a photograph, for me, you need to kill those directionality cues, and move more toward the traditional definition of high key.

I appreciate the comments, Amolitor. Very interesting. I think maybe I would have had less shadow if I had been able to have the front light straight on instead of slightly to the right. If I can get her back here I may try again using a smaller diffuser so that I can have it centered.

I like it, I'm thinking more n more how to use this technique. It shows the art of photography and not a photo. I'm not into evenly lit photos shot on auto.

Incase I lost ya - good job.
Thanks!

To me it just looks overexposed.
Yep.

I like it.. I am drawn to the darkest area of her hair just below her face though.. I guess theres some shadowing there. That's my only nitpick. I looked at that first and then had to look for her face it felt like.
Same here.

...I keep being drawn to the darkest shadow spot and the hair...it's a tension-inducing trick to place a dark area right next to a light area...it's an old,old compositional device. In this case though, the darkness is really hurting the high key effect for me. I think if her hair had simply been pulled around, so that there was no shadowed area, that the light, ethereal, flooded with light type of effect would have been universal throughout the entire photo, and the lighting effect would have been stronger, and just more "cohesive". Still, props for approaching this in such a different, exciting lighting style--it really is different than the normal way, and I like that about the shot.
Thanks, Derrel. I may try lightening the dark patch of hair and see how that looks. But then my whole exercise was to get this right in camera and do minimal PP.
 

DanOstergren

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To me it just looks overexposed.

I have to agree with you. Perhaps I'm just not familiar with extreme high key, but from looking at this shot I am not a fan of the style. The highlights are very lacking in any detail, and I personally like a lot of detail in a photograph. Her face has some detail, but there are a lot of areas in the photo where the lack of detail are distracting. Her arms, shoulders and parts of her head really get lost in the harsh light, and even her eyebrows and other facial details are lost in the blown out areas of the portrait.

Granted that I'm not familiar with shooting high key shots because I'm not a fan of them, but I think this shot could have been done better by relying more on the lighting to get that high key light, whereas in this shot it looks like either the aperture was too wide open or shutter too slow, or perhaps both resulting in an over exposed shot. Just not enough detail to me.
 

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