Low Key Photography Tips for Beginner

low key photography

Have you ever heard about low-key photography? Does that name ring a bell for you?

Low key photography is one of the most difficult techniques in photography, yet it will give you a tremendous emotional picture. If you like to make some impactful pictures, then you should try this low key photography method. 

If you want to know more about what low key photography is and how to do this technique, please check the information below. We will try to give some guidance for you to be able to use this technique later on.


What is Low Key Photography?

Low-key photography has a unique characteristic where every picture should have a dark dramatic concept. Usually, you will only find a photography object, it can be anything including human model, stuff, and other objects, they are surrounded with a dark aura.

This photography technique came from the Renaissance and Baroque era where some of the famous artists back then such as Leonardo da Vinci liked to create some dark dramatic paintings. That’s why, in the 20th century, we are able to change it into a photography technique.

To get a perfect low key picture, you need to be smart in setting the contrast between light and darkness. The only thing you need to do is practice more and use your intuition to find the balance between those two.

Read also: How to Take Sharp Photos in Low Light

How to Setup Low Key Photography?

Did you remember what we said in the beginning of this article? Low key photography is one of the most difficult techniques in photography.

But, you can learn how to do it through some guidance we are gonna give you. You can just prepare the camera, tripod, a light source (can be natural or artificial), and a dark backdrop.

Now, let’s set up your camera first and we will start from your shutter speeds. To do the low key photography, you need to have a fast shutter speed and we recommend the setup should be at a low number like f/1.8.

Next setup is ISO. The main concept of this photography is to get a balance between light and dark setup where you need to set the ISO as low as possible.

As for the lighting, usually some photographer will play with the side lighting to get a good picture. But actually, you can just be creative with the lighting and get your own style of low key photography.

If you want it to be darker, this is some tips that you can try: always keep your subject forward. With this way, you can isolate some light because it will hit the background and your object photography can have a darker mood.

Read also: Flat Lay Photography Technique for Minimalist Photo

Let’s Create Some Extraordinary Low Key Image!

Now, are you ready to create some extraordinary low key image? Just follow our tips above and you are able to create your own low key photography and give the impact to whoever sees the picture.

As for the editing, you can just give it to Dropicts. Dropicts as a image retouching services has a lot of services to help every photographer in editing and you can also try our services to give a better result in your low key photograph.

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