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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Christian Rosito
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Christian
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member since: 10/17/2007
 

Low-Key Image: How Is It Defined?


I have found differences on how a low-key image is defined. Some talk about not having any white in the image, but others talk about one source lighting where shadows are mainly used to define the subject. Thanks for your help!

10/28/2009 8:55:09 PM

 
Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  When we talk music, C sharp or F major are terms that describe the musical note used to set the mood of the composition. Same is true for a photograph. We often include a black or a white expanse to set the mood of the picture.
Low-key pertains to mood that presents a feeling of a dark atmosphere. We accomplish this by reducing exposure. Another way to accomplish this is by positioning the main light so the subject is seen mainly in shadow. The mood can be achieved if the subject is depicted with a dark background. Sometimes we add a rim (kicker) light to separate subject from background and a hair light to bring out detail that would otherwise be lost.
The fill is mounted at lens height and set 3 f/stops subordinate to the key light to keep the mood. In other words, if a fill is used, it is set just bright enough to supply some detail in the shadows.

10/30/2009 10:32:22 PM

 
Christian Rosito
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Christian
Christian's Gallery

member since: 10/17/2007
  Thank you Allan!

11/3/2009 8:49:38 AM

 

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