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Thread: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

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    Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

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    JohnnyG's Avatar
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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    The blacks aren't nearly soft enough for my tastes in Hi-Key. Soft in my experience (film) reveals an almost art pencil-like quality to the value of the grays. This is more like a hi-contrast with lowered dark values and for me, it doesn't translate the same.

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    I'm being very picky here Colin - but given the general comment about watermarks that you tend to throw in I think you can handle it I don't think the border works for me at all. The fact that it is a white image and the border is only on 2 sides throws the symmetry out. Perhaps a solid black line all around with the shadow will distinguish it sufficiently.

    In terms of the image, the face and eyes work really well for me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the hair just doesn't. Perhaps it is the amount of fine straggly detail that competes with the otherwise clean photo.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    I don't have the same questions/issues as Johnny and Peter above. I think, in general, it works well.

    What I do wonder about, however, is how some of the effect of the light are working. On the end of her nose and on the right (left as we look at it) of her forehead there are slightly darker areas. They're showing up on my monitor as sort of smudges. I thought that it might be better if these had gone to white, the same as the areas immediately beside them.
    Last edited by Donald; 23rd April 2012 at 12:30 PM.

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    Very interesting.
    I don't think I agree with Johnny's comment about contrast. I think contrast is what I want to see more of in this photo. The hair seems stuck in the middle to me - it needs to be lighter or darker - preferably darker for my tastes. I think some darker lipstick would help too. I do really like the way everything fades to white at the bottom of the frame.
    Care to give any comments on your procedure? I have been meaning to try something like this with lollipops and dark red lipstick. I know, I'll look very funny this way!

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    Hi Colin, I love hi Key...how did you go about it?

    There is a gap in her hair at the top that doesn't work and a stronger jaw line and lips would make the image better ( for me...no sayin' am right)

    It's a tough one to get right but it's a great start..you can afford to be braver I think.

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    Thanks everyone - sorry it's taken a bit longer than I planned to get back to you.

    @ Johnny - thanks for the comments. I know what you mean, but personally, I don't like images with loss of contrast, so in images like this - basically - what I'm striving for is a BIG s t r e t c h of the tonal range. Highlights get blown out - midtones get shifted up, but I don't want all the shadow detail to get shifted up as well; I like some blacks in the image to "anchor" it (for want of a better word).

    @ Ricco - I can handle it To be honest, I think it looks OK, but regardless, it's just a 1 button click in my actions panel that I always use. It's just an experiment, so I really wasn't too worried one way or the other.

    @ Donald - yeah - it's very sensitive to monitor response. Both my home and work monitors are calibrated and profiled; on my home machine it looks fine, but on my work machine I can see exactly what you mean. For what it's worth, I opened the image again - put on an agressive levels layer (temporarily) and discovered that it showed all sorts of crud where I'd applied various retouching. It was a valuable lesson though.

    @ Brian - yeah - she has very dark hair, which is a BIG problem when all I really want dark is the distinguishing features of the face (especially eyes).

    @ Brian & Sharon - "How did I do it" - "with a lot of pushing and shoving" to be honest. Started with extreme adjustments in ACR (to exposure - recovery - blacks - fill light - brightness etc) - then in Photoshop, levels layers (all in an attempt to get it looking as good as possible globally) - and then some skin softening (we don't want skin texture) and a lot of hand dodging and burning to push & pull the tones to where I wanted them. Much harder than I thought it would be to be honest!

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    Hi Colin,

    My tuppence worth is that high key is usually best shot as such - I'm not sure it is often very successful trying to take a normally exposed shot of a subject that isn't already high key in nature.

    That said, my immediate reaction was; "oooh that's nice, looks like a pencil sketch" (looking at the eyes, lit side of nose and mouth), so you almost pulled it off.

    Although I can sorta see what Peter means about the 2 sides of border, it works for me as it is because the chosen two sides suit the angle of her head.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Colin,

    My tuppence worth is that high key is usually best shot as such - I'm not sure it is often very successful trying to take a normally exposed shot of a subject that isn't already high key in nature.

    That said, my immediate reaction was; "oooh that's nice, looks like a pencil sketch" (looking at the eyes, lit side of nose and mouth), so you almost pulled it off.

    Although I can sorta see what Peter means about the 2 sides of border, it works for me as it is because the chosen two sides suit the angle of her head.

    Cheers,
    Thanks Dave,

    I might try shooting for high key as an experiment next time, although technically I can't think why adjusting the exposure in the studio or in Photoshop would make the "key" difference!

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    I've read somewhere before that high key starts with the exposure. Pushing things to the blown out edge. But I've never done it so I dunno :mystery:

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    I think it starts with subject - that has to have content that lends itself to high key processing.

    Sounds like a P52 challenge for me sometime this year

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    I can do it to an extent but getting the eyes deep enough is hard.

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    Re: Trying a little high-key processing - what do you all think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy Mae View Post
    I can do it to an extent but getting the eyes deep enough is hard.
    Hi Sharon,

    I had the same trouble. What I've been doing is using the burn tool set to shadows, and just hand-burning (especially) around the eyes. (By the way, I use the same technique often to increase local contrast in an image).

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