Low Key Portraits: For my Studio class. C&C PLS!


TPF Noob!
Mar 1, 2010
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Charleston SC
Heres 3 Low Key shots I did today for my studio class. Just looking for some feedback and some C&C, let me know what you think.

your photo technique is good, but your model have no expression at all. she must learn first before pose.
Thanks, but my model isnt an actual model. Just a girl that was in my studio class that i decided to use for this shoot.
The technical part is sound but i agree witht the pose but if its an off the cuff shot so to speak well done you!
'Low key' means that most of the subject matter and background is of dark values, and the lighting leaves large areas in shadow (but not necessarily devoid of detail).

Your attempts don't reflect an understanding of this. Perhaps your teacher doesn't understand what 'low key' actually means. (This would not surprise me.)


Note here in this portrait of John Barrymore as Hamlet that his costume is all dark, and the backdrop is dark too (not black, I should point out).

Here is another low-key photo of Mr J B, with the actress Mary Astor:


Again, note how most of the values are darkish without being actually underexposed. Most of the values are mid-tones and darker.

Here's one that is a bit odd, a portrait of James Cagney that has some elements of low key (namely the shadows enveloping his eyes), so it really isn't exactly low key:


Here's another of that same sort, let's call this 'semi-low-key' of the actor Boris Karloff:


Here's another of Boris that could definitely be considered low key:


Another oddity, of the actress Lillian Bond:


Here's a high-key portrait of Greta Garbo:


Now that you have some proper examples to go by, you can try again.
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i especially like the first one you posted.
Low key aside, I'd like that first one if that lock of hair wasn't covering her eye.

In the 2nd one, her head is way too big for her body.:thumbdown:

The 3rd? That one's been done to death.
You need to watch using wide lenses with portraits, the distortions aren't pretty. In number two her nose looks huge.

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