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Thread: High Key studio shots

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Surrey, UK
    Real Name

    High Key studio shots

    I am looking for advice on shooting 'high key' type studio shots. I know the technique but getting it all to work and getting the lighting just right so that it is 'high key' but not 'highlight' has always been a bit tricky for me. So words of wisdom and practical tips and advice would be welcome and appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    New Zealand
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: High Key studio shots

    Hi Malcolm,

    I'd suggest taking a step back for a moment to take a closer look at just what high key is, from a technical point of view. In essence, you have areas that are over-exposed to the point of being blown - but still have some small areas that are black or dark grey (to provide contrast), and you also have "mid-tone" areas (well areas that WOULD have been a mid-tone, but up-shifted towards higher tonal values.

    In terms of studio shooting, this ISN'T something that you can easily replicate in the studio without relying on post-processing as well.

    I can elaborate more later (just typing this on my iPhone), but as a starting point, start with relatively soft and flat lighting, but expose it about 1.5 to 2 stops over what a correct exposure should be. Pull the low-tones into place by raising the black clipping point, and push the mid tones into the high range by using a levels layer and moving the midtones slider to the left. You'll need to keep adjusting the sliders on the levels layer a bit as they'll interact a bit.

    Hope this at least gets you started!

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