Strength of interpretation

Producing images as high and low key, both in colour and black and white, I found to be really tricky, partly because I didn’t really feel as though I knew what I was doing but also because I felt that it was moving so far from reality that I wasn’t comfortable with the results.  A member of a local camera club, Nicky Gwynne-Jones FRPS, (more about her later) has really become something of an expert in high key photography, particularly bird images and somehow seems to get the balance right to the point that they still look realistic.

High key black and white

High key black and white

Low key black and white

Low key black and white

Maybe it was the subject that was unsuitable or maybe this just demonstrates how difficult it is to convert a colour image into high and low key successfully.   I certainly felt that the black and white images were more successful, although only marginally.   For both of the black and white images I used the high and low key presets in Silver FX Pro and made minor local adjustments to bring some detail into the bird’s feathers.  I still felt that they were quite extreme and would maybe have worked better had the background been lighter.

Low key colour

Low key colour

High key colour

High key colour

For the coloured images I used the levels facility in Photoshop Elements and now that I see the results side by side I wonder if I maybe didn’t push the high key one far enough, although when I did it only looked dull and over exposed.  I feel that this is a fairly specialised area that needs a lot of practice before you get it right, and, you need to have a image that lends itself to this treatment to start with.

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About Anne Bryson

I live in Gloucestershire with my husband Iain and West Highland Terrier, Isla. I enjoy golf, photography and my grandchildren, not necessarily in that order! Having completed a 10 week digital photography course with the Open University in 2010, I decided I wanted to take my photography further and enrolled for the Open College of the Arts BA (Hons) starting with 'The Art of Photography' which I enjoyed so much that I went gone on to do Digital Photographic Practice and People and Place. In April 2016 I enrolled on my fourth OCA photography course, Documentary. This blog is my Learning Log for this course.
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