Photo 52: Within the Frame

Tonality:  High Key {Week 27}

It’s a new month for photo 52: Within the Frame and we will be delving into tonality as a means to create or enhance the mood of our images.  Tonality includes the amount of contrast as well as the highlight and shadow qualities within an image that is affected primarily by the type of light available.  For this first week we will be working with high key lighting which creates images that are mostly bright, with hardly any blacks and very few mid-tones.  Originally developed for film and television, and primarily done with studio lighting, high key images have since become an artistic choice amongst photographers.  They can either be achieved indoors by using a bright backdrop or plain white wall, or outdoors on a day with flat light.   

High Key photography with its bright, white background creates images that are  upbeat, modern and distraction-free - the goal of any portrait photographer.  Tones that generally would have been mid-range become much brighter, near white tones become bright and white tones remain white.  And of course, as we mentioned already, very little darks or shadows are present.  It’s very important however, when shooting high key that you have just enough mid-tones and shadows to give the image depth, otherwise your photo is washed out and just plain overexposed.

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