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SERGEY MAXIMISHIN: "A PHOTOGRAPH SHOULD BE A NARRATOR"
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7 TIPS ON THE USE OF GESTALT THEORY FOR A BETTER COMPOSITION
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BASIC SHOOTING IN HIGH AND LOW KEY

If you want to create a certain mood in a photo, you should pay attention to shooting in a high or low key. The effects of High key and Low key are important to be able to use in order to be creative and learn how to control the atmosphere and style of the frame. Photographer Michael Gabriel (Michael Gabriel) shows that this shooting is not limited to only the use of a white background and a lower or higher contrast. In that case, what is it?

Initially, high pitch lighting was used to improve contrast. However, it is important to note that the concept of key lighting originates in the film industry. The operators used the term “key light” whenever they referred to the main light used for a particular scene. Along with the key light, they also used the backlight and fill light to create the lighting effect they had provided for the scene. Of course, at present, more advanced lighting technologies are being used in film production; therefore, the technology of three light sources, which is still in use, has paved the way for more complex light settings.

When talking about lighting in a high key, there are scenes in which there is a whole range of white and light tones. In such images at least halftones and blacks. If you use bright tones in your photos, midtones or mid-range tones turn white. White in the meantime become even whiter. Photographing in a high key is not without black tones at all, it just has the minimum amount of the specified tone. For example, if you shoot a portrait of a child, the eyes of your object will still have black pupils (not white ones).

High key lighting is used to obtain images that contribute to the appearance of a cheerful and optimistic mood of the viewer. The photos are youthful, easy, simple, but at the same time exquisite.

On the other hand, when lighting in a low key, images are created that are the opposite of photos in a high light key. This technique involves a lot of dark tones, shadows and black (really deep black). Therefore, photos taken in a low key, have a minimum number of semitones and white shades.

Images taken in a low key create a mysterious and dramatic mood. They can convey a different range of even deep negative emotions. But, of course, the overall effect depends on the particular scene, subject and the theme being depicted.

Bright and illuminated lights, which are dominated by a range of white shades.
Black and medium tones are minimized.
Optimistic, cheerful, youthful, light and airy attitude.
Mainly used in portrait, wedding, fashion-photography, as well as photos of newborns.
Low key lighting

In fact, if you want to create bright images in a high key, you need a good and reliable set of studio lighting. This means that a fill light will be needed, two light sources for the background (which should be one step brighter than the main object illumination) and a key light source that will at least double the brightness compared to your fill light.

The most common background color for such a shoot is white, although you can also use pastel backgrounds. Despite the fact that the outfit of the model does not have a significant impact on the lighting, it is recommended to adhere to white or light colors.

If you can not afford studio lighting, you can always take a picture in a high key, using natural light. The best time to shoot in high pitch falls on cloudy weather. Just make sure no thunderstorm or rain is foreseen.

Take some time before shooting to experiment with the settings or to take test shots of the background in natural light or shooting outdoors. Make sure that there are no deep black or dark tones in the selected background, any shadows. The more creative your idea, the better the final effect will be.

You can also shoot low-key images inside the studio, but you only have to use one light source instead of three that are taken for high key shooting.

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