When I was thinking what kind of flower could be a model for my next photos a Cyclamen came to my mind as a flower commonly grown during winter at homes. I wanted a white colour variety which has violet petal edges but this was not on stock in a flower shop so my wife bought a simple white. For a while I was racking my brain how I could photograph it and then I realized that I wanted to try high key technique for some time now and this might be a great subject for it.
If you are not familiar with High Key lighting/photography I can say that it is a form of lighting, or a photography captured in Hey Key lighting, which results in a scene/photo with the biggest amount of image data in bright tones with very low contrast and no or almost no dark areas. If you imagine a histogram of such a High Key photo, the most of data, if not all, will be in right half of it. If you are still interested to read more about it, you can find plenty of information using Google search, e.g. here or here.
When I decided for a High Key I already visualised the result how I would like to see it. I wanted to achieve a similar look as in wonderful images of excellent artist Ron van Dongen, e.g. here (in colour) or here (in BW). I was not sure if I wanted a B&W result or if I leave some colour. I only knew that I want it to be original, not only a copy of Ron’s technique.
And here are results. The background was a white glossy sheet that helped to reflect some of the light (I realized this only after looking at results. I didn’t realize it before). A light was quite weak winter afternoon light in an overcast day.
|0.8 sec. @ 100 mm, f/10, ISO 200||2 sec. @ 100 mm, f/13, ISO 200|
Even though I am pretty happy with these I wondered how it would look with a hint of colour. You can see my attempt here.
I have probably slight preference for the colour version. It looks even softer and a bit warmer to me. Words like soft, delicate, immaculate… appears in my head 🙂 Which version do you prefer? And which of these photos? I can easily imagine having them both printed on a big format and hanging next to each other on a wall in my house 🙂
As I was really pleased by these results I would like to take more such photos in future. Actually, I think that this might be a good starting point for new series. I have already a name for it – Flora in High Key.
I would like to mention one more thing nowk. You probably noticed the IOW in the title of this post and those of you who know photography forums and magazines know that it means Image Of the Week. I was pleased when my photo Marble Pebble (originally posted here) was chosen as an image for current week on NatureScapes.net network (NSN) in Photo and Digital Art thread. You can find the winning post here.
I hope you like these High Keys and wish you to enjoy the winter in its full strength!
Technical information: both images were taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens upon a tripod in a dim winter light during overcast day, indoors, with all post-processing done in Adobe LightRoom 2.5.