High- and Low-Key Lighting
DOI link for High- and Low-Key Lighting
High- and Low-Key Lighting book
A high-key image will be full of light tone but should also have a full tonal range running from full black to pure white. The bias of the image will be strongly skewed towards the lighter tones. The mood of a high-key image is of innocence. The technique is commonly applied in child photography and with female subjects. Images that are skewed towards the brighter tones and have no dark greys or blacks, images taken on a misty day for instance, are often loosely referred to as high key. A low-key image, like a high-key image, has a full range of tones from black to white but the bias is towards darker tones. Low-key images are ‘read’ as moody and dramatic. It is a portrait technique often used with strongly masculine faces or with sitters who have dark skin.