20 Outstanding Low and High Key Photographs :: Digital Photo Secrets
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20 Outstanding Low and High Key Photographs

by David Peterson 7 comments

Great photos don't always have to have even lighting or a broad range of tones. You can get truly stunning images with both high-key and low-key lighting. Low-key photos can be captured in your studio with just a single light source, or outside of your studio in low-light situations, provided there's a strong enough light source somewhere in the scene to provide the contrast that can make or break this type of shot. High-key photos are a bit more difficult to master than low-key - simply overexposing your photos isn't necessarily going to be enough. Aim for images with a good range of light tones without any harsh, blown-out highlights. For inspiration, here are some examples of outstanding low and high-key images.


[ Top image Form of the Face by Flickr user Ryan Brenizer]

  • Pentax K100D
  • 200
  • f/8.0
  • 0.006 sec (1/180)
  • 50 mm

Father's Kiss by Flickr user ladyhawker


Liquid by Flickr user Hengki Koentjoro



beyond by Flickr user Ivan.Pavlukhin


  • Pentax K200D
  • 800
  • f/3.5
  • 0.033 sec (1/30)
  • 18 mm

Blades by Flickr user tristanlb


    Ballet and Beauty by Flickr user Pat McDonald

    • Canon EOS 500D
    • 100
    • f/2.0
    • 0.002 sec (1/500)
    • 50 mm

    Budapest Walkway by Flickr user TheFella

    • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
    • 200
    • f/9.0
    • 109
    • 24 mm

    Abandoned love II by Flickr user Garry - www.visionandimagination.com

    • Canon EOS 7D
    • 6400
    • f/3.5
    • 0.04 sec (1/25)
    • 100 mm

    Nice to see you:) by Flickr user Spice ♥ Trying to Catch Up!


    Bowling Ball Sunset - Mendocino County by Flickr user maxxsmart


    • Canon EOS 30D
    • 100
    • f/5.6
    • 0.008 sec (1/125)
    • 24 mm

    Day 2: Now is the Winter of our Discontent. by Flickr user SaylaMarz

    • Nikon D3000
    • 100
    • f/6.3
    • 0.002 sec (1/500)
    • 220 mm

    Delicate by Flickr user Xabier Alonso -off-

    • Nikon D700
    • 200
    • f/20.0
    • 0.8
    • 160 mm

    those days ... by Flickr user Sandra Bartocha


    Heads up ! by Flickr user Villi.Ingi


    • Pentax *ist D
    • 200
    • f/0.0
    • 0.011 sec (1/90)
    • 0 mm

    EXPLORED: Close up - IMGP5039 by Flickr user Bahman Farzad


    Stop whispering by Flickr user JenniPenni



      Rose soul by Flickr user alonsodr


      lightness of being by Flickr user Dalla*


      • Nikon D90
      • 640
      • f/5.6
      • 0.01 sec (1/100)
      • 40 mm

      Jewels For A Princess by Flickr user Tomasito.!

      • Canon EOS 40D
      • 200
      • f/32.0
      • 0.025 sec (1/40)
      • 60 mm

      Flower / Rose Flower / Macro Flower / White Rose Flower / high key / close up rose / closeup / - IMG_9865 - by Flickr user Bahman Farzad

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      Comments

      1. Dorothy says:

        Hi, really am learning a lot . Thank you

      2. Ross Griffiths says:

        1st class photos be so good to let us know how they are done

      3. CHMELNIK CHAIM says:

        WONDERFUL PICTURES, PLEASE SEND US MORE DETAILES HOW TO TAKE THEM .

        CHAIM

      4. George Nepomuceno says:

        Nice pics!

      5. Dick de Reus says:

        Amazing photos!!!!

      6. Esther Simonis says:

        How I love those 20 photos! I want to learn how to do it! Esther

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      Difficulty:
      Beginner
      Length:
      2 minutes
      About David Peterson
      David Peterson is the creator of Digital Photo Secrets, and the Photography Dash and loves teaching photography to fellow photographers all around the world. You can follow him on Twitter at @dphotosecrets or on Google+.