What is a High Key Portrait

Garry Edwards tells in this masterclass about shooting portraits. First of all you need to find out the purpose of the photo, as your client/model sees it. Be it an image for a corporate web site or a gift to a partner. Basing on this you can think up how you should shoot it.

If your subject is looking into a big source of light placed very close to the subject, shadows will not be hard on his/her face. The further away you take the light source, in this case it was a light box, the harsher the shadows become.

If you want to have a circle of light behind the model's head, put a light beamer directed onto the background. You can also use some color gel. Blue is popular because it goes well with red and all people's skin has red color. It is also a good idea to overexpose the background by at least 1,5 stops.

High key effect means the absence of any dark tone in the photo. This technique produces good results when you need to hide any imperfections of the model's face. If you set exposure on the model's eyes and lips, only eyes and lips will be shown on the photo image while her skin will be overexposed and thus too bright.

Fill light on the other hand is placed where it lights whole subject.

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