2020 Photo Challenge #20 (Take Three)

May’s theme / technique: It’s all about the Light

Take Three: As an alternative to showing how the use of high key and low key effects alter the look of an object (flower in my case) I wanted to experiment with an image that intrigues me to see if changing the key tone does in fact change the mood.

This week's assignment - Create one image using strong lighting which creates strong shadows and emphasises contrasts in tones and one image with much lighter tones. If you have post-processing software try experimenting with 'low key' and 'high key'effects.
    • The visual effect of deliberately shifting the key tone (the one which lies near the mid-point between the darkest and lightest tones) is not to make the image lighter or darker overall, but to signal a mood or feeling in the viewer.
    • The mood of low-key images becomes more sombre and metaphorically darker, with more drama implied.
    • High-key overcomes shadows and signals a style full of light and air. Look for subjects with a relatively small difference between the brightest and darkest parts.

(1) Girl in a White Dress. I chose this image because not only are the colours monochromatic, there isn’t a lot of contrast apart from the black hair and white dress.  A young woman, pulling nervously at her hair, wearing what could be an old-fashioned nightdress standing barefoot on the jetty wall.  Why is she standing there looking out to sea?

Could changing the lighting change the story?

(2) High-key lighting – a softer more ethereal feeling – romantic or anxious? Waiting for her partner to return from the sea?

(3) Low-Key lighting – a sense of drama. What is she looking at, what is she thinking? The black shadow behind her, the inky sea approaching. Has she run away from something?

Does changing the lighting change the way you view an image? Create a different story? What do you think?

If you would like to join in with the 2020 photo challenge then please take a look at my 2020 Photo Challenge page. No complicated rules, just a camera required 🙂

    • Create your own post with some information about how you composed the shot.
    • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
    • Add the tag #2020PhotoChallenge so everyone can find your entry easily in the WP Reader
    • Get your post(s) in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in June.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

26 thoughts on “2020 Photo Challenge #20 (Take Three)”

  1. It’s an extraordinary image, Jude. French Lieutenant’s woman come back to haunt. I like the drama of the last. 🙂 🙂

  2. I think the first one would make an excellent book cover, Jude. Either a romatic novel, or a mystery.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. I felt I wasn’t getting the idea across that by changing the tones you actually change how people view an image. Soft and ethereal or harder and more dramatic. I like the ones you chose to illustrate this concept.

      1. Yes your last choice of subject was perfect for the exercise, certainly changed the feeling of the photo from high to low key. I think having the person so well placed did the trick

        1. With your permission I would like to use one of yours and play around with it to see if I can add the girl.

        2. Of course you can jude, I think that would be a very interesting experiment. I’ll look forward to seeing the results

  3. Yes, my vote is for low-key too. Though your high-key seems more successful than any of mine. I’ll post soon and you’ll see what I mean. But yours is ethereal, and suggestive of … something unsettling.

    1. I think high key only works well when an image has little contrast and similar tones. It’s not something I will use often.

  4. I like take three – the shot demonstrates the change in mood very well and for me, all of them work. I could see them being used for something – an album cover perhaps, given the crop.

    I tried to take part yesterday using an image that looked as if it might work. I ended up doing a completely different kind of post instead, because though I did try to make it high or low key, I didn’t know what I should actually be changing. Sorry to be slow on the uptake! For example, using Photos, to get to your lighter one, it looks like it has to be desaturated, but the darker one isn’t highly saturated and I assume they are two ends of the same spectrum. I either use Photos or an old copy of Photoshop and I edit lightly, so have never learned all the possibilities.

    1. I don’t change the saturation, though by changing the light levels it does appear to do that. Do you have levels in your edit menu? If so you might see a histogram with dark at the left and bright at the right with a mid tone point. By moving the mid point one way or another you can change the light in the image. Also change the other points to experiment. Hope this helps.

    1. Me too! I keep disappearing into a black hole in the garden. Go out for ten minutes and emerge three hours later! One wouldn’t think such a small garden could eat up so much time.

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