low key

Week 26: Creative – High or Low Key

What does this mean? A Google search led to this website which tells me;

A low-key image is one that contains predominantly dark tones and colours. A low-key image is usually dramatic and full of mystery. Low-key lighting creates striking contrasts through reduced lighting. Shadows are now the primary element of the composition.

High-key images convey atmosphere and mood. A high-key image feels airy and light, it over-lights the subject to reduce contrast. 

So, how to go about doing this? Which opportunity might present itself first as I go on my adventures?

Early morning and a sunrise might seem to be a good opportunity to get interesting light on a subject. I was in Rotorua last week and thought about going back to bed after dropping colleagues off at the airport but decided it was too beautiful a morning to be inside. So, I went for a walk along the lake front and was rewarded with a beautiful sunrise. As the sky lightened behind Mokoia Island, the swans, geese and ducks started to awaken and come to shore. I tried to capture them with the light behind them as they swam in. There is a beautiful story associated with Mokoia which you can find here.

two swans and a duck swimming into shore with the sun rising over the horizon
I took this photo in a great wee bar in Hamilton called the Wonderhorse – I think I may well have posted a photo from there before – Alex, the barman, is a joy to watch as he mixes cocktails. As you might imagine the place is dark and so snapshot photos are often grainy so do require some editing.

A cocktail maker at work pouring the concoction through a sieve into a glass.