Getting More out of your Camera: Low-Key Photography

Sunday, 21 April 2013


Low-key pictures are mostly dark in tone, which gives an edge of atmosphere and drama to the subject through reduced light levels.

For this technique your exposure needs to be less than normal in order to keep the range of tones rich and dark. A good way to do this is to bracket on the minus side (more stuff on bracketing here).  


For best results you need to use a tripod. If you don't have one to hand (as I didn't in the above shot), increase your ISO setting slightly, which will help reduce the effects of camera shake.


Shadow is important here...


I've seen some fabulous low-key black and white portraits, where the subject's face is lit from one side. That's what I'm aiming for next with this technique.

Have you taken any great low-key shots? Which subjects work best do you think?

Next up in this series: sunrises & sunsets.
 

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