The best photography is not the result of a good technique. It is not the framing, nor the digital development that we apply that gives value to a photo. Nor is it the focal length of the lens, nor the size of the camera sensor with which we have taken it. What makes a snapshot a great photo is the reaction that this photo produces in the one who sees it, the emotions that it releases in it. The feelings it induces. Something like what poetry or music does. Leave photos in HDR or 3D ... If your photo captivates the viewer and causes an impression on it, you have succeeded. To provoke something in the viewer you have to make use of certain tools. One of those tools that usually work very well when "generating" a feeling in who sees the photo is the technique known as High Key / Low Key . Photos taken in High Key or Low Key usually carry a huge emotional load. You cannot see a photo in High Key and not feel invaded by positive feelings, peace, happiness and tenderness. Nor do you escape the feelings of intrigue and mystery that a photo in Low Key usually generates.
STEPS TO PHOTOGRAPH IN CLAVE ALTA
- You will need light, lots of light. Ideally, rely on one or two light bulbs (continuous light) that flood the frame of light. If you are going to play many times with the High Key you are interested in catching some light bulbs or softbox.
- Prepare a white background . Essential.
- Set the camera, in manual mode as usual, to a relatively large aperture (f / 5.6 would be enough, although if you want to lower af / 3.5 then it would not go wrong either). Make sure you have a minimum ISO (100), a shutter speed between 1/5 and 1/10 seconds. Increase the exposure to +2 EV.
- Since you are going to use a shutter speed that is not too fast, you will need a tripod, a remote trigger (to eliminate any possible vibration when shooting) and ask the subject not to move.
- Now shoot the photo.
STEPS TO PHOTOGRAPH IN CLAVE BAJA
- Black background as you can imagine It has to be flat, without reliefs or glare. The idea is that it does not reflect any light.
- Light: Low Key does not mean absence of light, but shortage of it. In the Low Key the photographer uses a minimum amount of light distributed strategically, directing it only to the parts that interest the subject or object portrayed. In this case with a remote Flash would suffice. If the flash allows you to control its power, set it to a low power.
- Camera settings: There are no values ??from which you can leave by default. The only rule to keep in mind is that you have to play with the settings so that the less light enters the camera the better. I do not say that the whole dark photo comes out and the subject cannot even be distinguished. Nor should we go to that extreme but keep a subtle light that reveals only part of the body or face of our character.
- Now shoot the photo. Again, go shooting and reviewing the results.
IDEAL PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THE HIGH KEYAs I said at the beginning, the High Key has a series of "typical" feelings and emotions that are associated with it. Therefore, there are more "ideal" situations and photographs to use this technique. Here are some ideas you can use to get inspired by your first High Key exercises:
- Macro Photography
- Prejas and Weddings
- Female portraits
IDEAL PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THE LOW KEYIn the same way, here are other examples of themes that you can portray in Clave Baja:
- Nudes (again)
- Profile portraits
- Male portraits