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Metering techniques for high key portraiture



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 12th 05, 01:13 PM
Bob Hickey
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Default Metering techniques for high key portraiture


wrote in message
oups.com...
Wrong. That's over-exposure, not high-key.

Moron!

Accurate placing of values via the ZS ( or any other ) is previsualization,
not over exposing. Stumbling onto a scene which matches an idea is luck.
Metering and exposing to obtain a desired effect is photography. I'm sure
David's placement will work well. Bob Hickey


  #2  
Old January 12th 05, 01:13 PM
Bob Hickey
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wrote in message
oups.com...
Wrong. That's over-exposure, not high-key.

Moron!

Accurate placing of values via the ZS ( or any other ) is previsualization,
not over exposing. Stumbling onto a scene which matches an idea is luck.
Metering and exposing to obtain a desired effect is photography. I'm sure
David's placement will work well. Bob Hickey


  #3  
Old January 12th 05, 03:05 PM
Owamanga
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On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 22:26:16 -0800, "MarkČ" mjmorgan(lowest even
number wrote:


"PGG" wrote in message
news[email protected]_SP_A_Myaho o.com...
On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 19:58:20 -0800, uraniumcommittee wrote:

High-key is not the same as overexposure. Period.


High-key is making sure the background has no tone in the printed image.
This can be accomplished in many ways including "overexposing" so that the
background is a blown highlight.

Period.


That's a very poor definition.


Hmm.

If that were true, then you could shoot anything...in pure, lifelike
color...so long as the background was pure white (essentially a giant
highlight) and call it "high key."


That statement, I believe, contains some truth. But true High-key
photography should result in a low contrast image, with your histogram
typically stronger in the lighter tones than the darker ones.

Many of the (less interesting) high-key photographs I've seen are
exactly what you describe. A pure white background and a well exposed,
clearly defined subject sitting in front of it. Not as cute/artistic
as the very low contrast versions of the same thing, where the subject
is well side-lit so they blend into the background.

Here is an example of a high-key shot where parts of the subject (the
girls clothing) are extremely low contrast against the background:
http://www.thepierceco.com/supplies/101736.htm

And here are far less interesting versions touted as high-key, but
questionable because of the high-contrast that still exists:
http://www.barrettandcoephotography....ts_highkey.htm

I prefer these more classical high-key, low contrast shots:
http://www.acclaimimages.com/_galler...2401-5203.html
http://www.acclaimimages.com/_galler...0612-1128.html


Betterphoto.com defines high-key as:
"Intentionally overexposing a photograph can create a fascinating
image that tells a beautiful story. High key photography can be
achieved by adjusting your camera settings or by using your photoshop
high key feature."
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/d....asp?catID=396


Many of the better high-key images don't actually require the
background to be blown - so they loose the 'clinical' look but still
have all the artistic qualities of a low-contrast shot. This is true
of the OP's example, the Sinead O' Connor picture which has *no* white
in it at all. It's still high-key. (There is a good chance that in
this example, they introduced the color cast post-processing - the
original shot most likely had a fully blown white background)

Do you need to over-expose? Generally, I think you do, if you matrix
meter, but not if you spot meter the subject. The main requirements
are that the background has to be 1-2 stops lighter than the subject
and the overall shot shouldn't have too much contrast.

As for how to do it:

From a blog I found 'blansky' wrote:

"To do high key photography, generally the background is two stops
brighter than your main light.

Also a 3:1 lighting ratio on the subject is having the fill, one stop
less than the main light. Since you are using a reflector as fill, you
kind of throw out the equation. (Usually you would have the main at
say f11 and the fill at f8 no reflector)

If you use a reflector, just meter the main, then the shadow and
feather the lights to get the 3:1 or 5:1 ratio.

In your situation with only three lights, with high key, I might try
two lights, opposite sides equal distance angled in at the background,
having the background reading evenly f16. Then light the subject with
one light and fill with the reflector. Set the main for f8.

If you are doing only once person you may get away with one background
light but you may still get falloff and an uneven background.

Personally I find a silver reflector to be too harsh and would use
white fomecore or a white reflector.

Also feather your mainlight. Than means place the hottest spot of the
light at the farthest portion of the face. This gives a more
wraparound effect and also places more light on the reflector which
makes the fill closer to the amount of light as the mainlight.

In high key photography usually you don't want very much contrast so
rarely more than a 3:1.

The umbrella is fine behind you. The umbrella will easily wrap the
light around you and hit the subject. It is not a good idea to use a
long remote cable release because if you want to interact with the
subject you can't see the results away from the camera.

Also what I do is meter the main light and with a reflector fill set
the camera to about half or a full stop less than the main which will
still give you shadow detail. The fill is not supposed to do anything
more than fill the shadows and the shadow side of the face. Your
lighting ratios 3:1, 5:1 7:1 will give you the differing amount
contrasts. So concentrate more on you main light than anything. The
fill just controls the contrast."

http://www.apug.org/forums/archive/t-6613.html


If you want to play with purely digital high-key style effects, here
is a free Photoshop plugin that can get close (the high-key examples
all seem to convert to BW too, but this isn't a requirement):

(take a look at the bottom image - the portrait)
http://www.optikvervelabs.com/community2.asp

--
Owamanga!
  #4  
Old January 13th 05, 02:03 PM
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There is a good book with some examples and "how to" details available.
It is Children by David Wilson, published (I think) by RotoVision.
Rgds

StephenC
www.stephenc.co.za

  #5  
Old January 15th 05, 10:42 PM
Duncan J Murray
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wrote in message
ups.com...
Metering has nothing to do with. 'High-key' is not the treatment of the
subject matter; on the contrary, 'high-key' subject matter consists
mostly of light-toned objects. In other words, use an incident meter
and expose normally.
If you are talking about over-exposure, that is not 'high-key'.


Incident meter - I thought the zone system worked with a reflected light
meter - which is why you don't need to change the exposure in a highkey
scene (low contrast, high reflectance, I guess), if you're using an incident
meter, but if you're using reflected light then I would have thought you
need to place the high reflectance and low contrast in the upper curve of
exposure to prevent it coming out at 18% grey on the film.

Duncan.


  #6  
Old January 16th 05, 01:47 AM
me
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"Duncan J Murray"

wrote in message ...
wrote in message
ups.com...
Metering has nothing to do with. 'High-key' is not the treatment of the
subject matter; on the contrary, 'high-key' subject matter consists
mostly of light-toned objects. In other words, use an incident meter
and expose normally.
If you are talking about over-exposure, that is not 'high-key'.


Incident meter - I thought the zone system worked with a reflected light
meter - which is why you don't need to change the exposure in a highkey
scene (low contrast, high reflectance, I guess), if you're using an

incident
meter, but if you're using reflected light then I would have thought you
need to place the high reflectance and low contrast in the upper curve of
exposure to prevent it coming out at 18% grey on the film.

Duncan.


Yikes, that Gordian knot is tied tight!!! This photographer explains how to
use an incidence meter for high key fashion photography:
http://www.rangefindermag.com/Magazi...01/unravel.tml
Film best,
me


  #7  
Old January 16th 05, 01:47 AM
me
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Posts: n/a
Default

"Duncan J Murray"

wrote in message ...
wrote in message
ups.com...
Metering has nothing to do with. 'High-key' is not the treatment of the
subject matter; on the contrary, 'high-key' subject matter consists
mostly of light-toned objects. In other words, use an incident meter
and expose normally.
If you are talking about over-exposure, that is not 'high-key'.


Incident meter - I thought the zone system worked with a reflected light
meter - which is why you don't need to change the exposure in a highkey
scene (low contrast, high reflectance, I guess), if you're using an

incident
meter, but if you're using reflected light then I would have thought you
need to place the high reflectance and low contrast in the upper curve of
exposure to prevent it coming out at 18% grey on the film.

Duncan.


Yikes, that Gordian knot is tied tight!!! This photographer explains how to
use an incidence meter for high key fashion photography:
http://www.rangefindermag.com/Magazi...01/unravel.tml
Film best,
me


 




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