High-key, Low-key

These are two photographs that I took of my models back in September. I was playing with the images in Lightroom today when I had the idea to try and do something with differing styles of black and white imagery.

The image on the left is supposed to represent high-key and that on the right is low-key. According to Tom Ang, high-key is when the “image’s key tone is high”. I’m not sure that it is high enough, but I do like the way it looks (and that’s what’s important, right?). He also says that high-key is best obtained in-camera, which is clearly not what I’m doing here – I’m nowhere near proficient enough to have my best ideas at “the moment it clicks“, and that is why I love Lightroom so, it allows me to be creative post-clickus. The image to the right is low-key when the image’s key tone is… you get it by now!

What I was interested by is that in both of these quite simple techniques the effect is the same. You are drawn into the image, to its focus, where the photographer wants you to be and that is the models’ eyes (in this case, but it could also be a cup cake – and it is just coincidence that in both these cases I have both model and cup cakes as my photographic inspirations).

Both images were taken on the same day under the same (or very similar) lighting conditions. All processing was done in Lightroom, no need for photoshop.


5 thoughts on “High-key, Low-key”

  1. High or Low you have brilliantly captured the mood and I am certainly drawn to the eyes. Beautiful images…do you think I could do something similar with my Nikon Coolpix L2 6.0 Megapixels 3x zoom digital Camera??? 🙂
    (I guess not…I will need to upgrade).


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