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Over Exposed ART - High key photography

Updated: Jun 15


Girl hugging a dog portrait photo in High Key
Girl portrait photo in High Key

Overexposure in photography is an aesthetic resource also known as high key. But just as we use a resource to create the image, perhaps the most complex thing is to relate it to the message we want to convey.


High key achieves an image effect with a very ethereal appearance and partially or totally replaces the background with white to draw the subject on this canvas based on a few lines and shadows, giving it a minimalist appearance, reducing the complexity of the figure to a minimum; everything that does not contribute to the figure must be removed.


Intense light has always represented the divine, the ethereal, the intense energy of the sky, the sun, life in the human psyche. Keeping this in mind is very important to add this aesthetic resource to the composition. While strong contrasts with many dark areas can make the photo more dramatic, the intense light in which the main image of the photo is immersed represents joy and lightness, which in some cases can be paradoxical depending on the scene being represented.


This artistic process may require selective variations of light tones and not just increasing the exposure of the entire image. Whether or not the realism of the image is lost is something that is up to the author's discretion.


The overexposure achieved by sunlight, in my experience, is impossible to replicate on the computer without already making a digital drawing. The texture and brightness of the colors achieved under intense direct light, especially sunlight, leaves a texture and definition in the colors and contrasts while the less exposed areas receive an equal share of light from the reflection of the sun on environmental elements. As can be seen in the photo above.


A much more sophisticated treatment is to work the middle areas of the tonal register to create a very relaxing sensation in the image in the light grays, so we can create three groups of tonal work. One in high key, another in medium high tones and some in medium low and low tones, without losing the dominance of the high tones and achieving a dramatic definition in certain areas with the darker tones.


All this probably seems very technical and the truth is that an intuitive process playing with the light tone curve can give us a good initial idea of ​​what we want and helps us to understand better.


You can see our Collection Over Expodes Under Sun:



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