Too low-key ?


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Dec 30, 2010
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Not sure if this lighting setup works for children. Opinions?

I was using fill in the shape of a huge reflector camera left but i couldn't get it close enough to her as it kept getting in my shot.

I'm not sure I consider this low key, but that's pretty subjective. I think the reflector looks good. I would prefer a softer light as key though... the shadows are pretty harsh and are creating very defined lines on her face. And the red sticker and purple toy below are a big distraction. Heal out the sticker and crop to a tighter portrait and this would make a nice hanger regardless.... her expression and her attention/focus are excellent.
Actually, I don't see this as low key at all. Yes, you've got a black background, but that alone does not make a low key shot. "Low key" generally refers to an image with an overall dark tone and comparatively low contrast. This one actually has a LOT of contrast (white shirt/black background).

If you want to make it a low key image, than replace the white shirt with something darker, and grid your key. It's a nice enough shot, just not low key.
Ya i wasn't going for low key. I guess i should of phrased it are the shadows too harsh for this type of subject. On a personal level i don't really mind it.

LOL @ the sticker...i guess i have to get rid of it in PP seeing as she would start fussing/crying when i tried to take it off during the shoot. Anything to keep them smiling i guess.

Bazooka, when you say crop do you mean more of just a headshot? like at the elbows?
Yeah, but the reason is mostly to get rid of the purple toy and the blue chair. I tried a few different ways but it's tricky to do both while still appearing natural and not cramped with this particular image.
go one way or the other, right side bright, left side dark, go one way or the other or bring up left, or bring down right.
Contrast between side is too opinion,I think I said that to make sense in english lol
A fill light a stop or so down instead of the reflector may be an option to lessen the harshness of the shadows?
Nothing wrong with having shadows it's just placement of them, Without the reflector you have basically a rembrandt pattern on what you did, with a child more of a loop pattern may have been more pleasing, Slightly higher light and moved slightly more towards the camera. But shadows ARE a good thing. Most people just put light right Light left, same ratio...blah boring

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