Intentionally overexposing a photograph can create a fascinating image that tells a beautiful story. High key photography can be achieved very simply by adjusting your camera settings. Everything you need to know about High-key photography is actually in the name.
It means that the image’s key tone is high, key tones are usually the mid-tones, so by placing them high, meaning high on the exposure scale, we are making them lighter/brighter. This has two crucial side-effects. If mid-tones are bright, then the high-tones – those which are usually nearly white – will be even whiter. While tones can’t be whiter than white in digital photography so these super-white tones are clipped down to keep them to white.
High key photography uses unnaturally bright lighting to blow out most or all harsh shadows in an image. This method of taking images was originally developed as a solution to screens that couldn’t properly display high contrast ratios, but has developed into more of a stylistic choice.
This style of photography seeks to eliminate harsh shadows and create a bright environment. It is generally used to convey a beautiful subject but can be manipulated to communicate a number of moods and concepts.
At the other extreme, areas that normally register with dark tones are dragged up the brightness scale so that they become much brighter. The key to high-key photography is actually in the control of these dark tones.
To achieve this you will need to take care with exposure for best results, experiment to match your taste, you’ll need to over-expose by at least one stop, more like two and even three stops: exposure control is the key, so give yourself lots to choose when shooting your subject. start with; +1, +2 and +3 stops. This way, you don’t need to open the image in image manipulation software and struggle with Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation or what not, just shoot and enjoy.
The beauty of Hi-Key is you can experiment as much or as little as you wish, creating a really different, arty look, while also working in difficult lighting, which for Wildlife photography is about an hour after sunrise and throughout the day. With direct sunshine ‘Draining’ the colour from the subject you wish to photograph.
Following the simply tips I have given you above, will enable you to capture really good Hi-Key images, good luck and should you wish to email me with any questions you have then please feel free by clicking Here.