It's Week #11: High Key

red-bird-blank-sign see the album


Photo by: Ana-Maria Monteleongo-Martin – Week 30: Calm (2016)

What is a “high key” photo you ask? Simply put, it’s an image that has a lot more white than black. This great technique usually conveys a more upbeat mood or can give more of a dreamy feel to your photographs.


Tips and Tuts for this week:

  • Think about your emotion. High Key will give you a certain type of look and emotion. What story would you want to craft from that? What are you trying to tell?
  • Overexpose! Go crazy! Abstract overexposed photos can have a great surrealist look. Once your shutter speed is a bit loosy goosy, you may want to go for an Eva Polak-esque impressionist look, or a ghostly effect.
  • Shooting in Auto? Use Exposure Compensation to amp up your exposure! You will keep your camera doing all the work, but you can easily raise your overall exposure.
  • Use a white background. If you are going for a portrait shot, a white backdrop will get you most of the way there. Amp up your lighting on your subject, and you’ll be in high key territory in no-time. Check our Markus’ high key photo from last year. You can also use natural light., like in Julie’s photo from 2015
  • Check out this great primer on how to go about shooting a high-key photograph.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our “High-Key” album from 2016! And of course,The Googles! Oh you sweet Googles. 







Extra Credit: SOOC (that’s straight out of the camera)

For some extra credit joojoo, submit your photo exactly as you shot it! That’s right, this means no editing of any kind, including cropping, straightening, exposure tweaks, color correcting, etc.. You can, however, add a watermark and resize the dimensions and file size of your image. The point is to achieve a high-key look “in-camera”. [RAW shooters may add sharpening, contrast, and saturation to match a JPG ‘look’ (as RAW is flatter by default), but not to the point where it starts to look edited]

Check out The Googles for more inspiration!!


Remember, it is not necessary to keep this Extra Credit challenge in mind while shooting. It’s extra credit!

*Please note!! You can only submit ONE photo per week, for the week’s challenge. This photo can include the “Extra Credit” part of the challenge, or the “regular” challenge, but you can never submit more than one photo!

Past Challenges 2016

Past Challenges - 2015