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NEW Intermediate Assignment #2: Low Key

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: NEW Intermediate Assignment #2: Low Key
    Posted: 01 January 2010 at 20:37
This is the second Intermediate Dyxum Photographic Assignment, the topic this time is Low Key

now, here is the assignment!

You will enhance the beauty of an object/person/scene by a low exposure and increasing the contrast for a dark and moody look while still maintaining most tones in the histogram below 128 with only very few above. The low exposure will give you dark areas and few light details and lines can bring out lots of texture in the surfaces. You will use this style to produce an image that carries stronger emotions than a normal exposed copy of it would possess.

The low exposure must mainly be achieved IN CAMERA. post processing a regularly exposed shot is not what we're trying to achieve here, however when the exposure in camera is as needed other PP may be used to increase the impact or drama of the shot.

Just Google "Low Key" and you'll find plenty of articles and examples on the net

General Assignment Rules


The general rules for the assignments are as follows :

- clean slate, all “old” assignments will be locked (over time as the new ones are created)
- no mining, shots must be specifically taken for the assignment (we trust you )
- only one assignment at the time. Once started you can only take the next assignment after having passed.
- one dimension crop and minor straightening allowed (to allow different aspect ratios, but don’t crop in both directions)
- max 2 pics per post/try
- you can do the assignments in any order, and repeated as many times as you want
- at least one moderators or admin will comment on every post and determine fail/pass. This might include general C&C as well.
- all members of Dyxum can also leave comments on the shots posted
- id of members that passed will be kept in a "pass post"
- specifically good pictures or good examples of assignment passes will be kept in a new "assignment gallery"
- instructions for specific assignments will generally stay as is (and we'll have to write new ones for new assignments).
- shots posted for the assignments are eligible for selection in the weekly exhibitions




Edited by brettania - 27 January 2010 at 08:53
 



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finejava View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote finejava Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 January 2010 at 07:47
Hi,

I'm totally a new in this wonderful world of photography probably 5 months old. Am hoping to gain some knowledge and skills from everyone's C&C. Below are my tries:

1#


2#


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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2010 at 10:39
@finejava, welcome to Dyxum and very couragious to make your first (and sofar only) post in the assignment area and I congratulate you on an immediate pass. Especially in the first one your lighting and choice of subject and background really enhance the picture. The second is less clear cut as much more of the subject is well lighted, and by itself would not have passed. However #1 is a clear pass and I can also appreciate the general quality of both shots in terms of technical execution as well as composition. So have fun with your next assignment, for all I'm looking forward to your submissions on those
Mind the bandwidth of others, don't link pictures larger then 1024 wide or 960 pix high, see here
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2010 at 10:50
Welcome from me too, finejava. #1 is a very nice shot and I agree with pegelli's comments.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote finejava Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2010 at 16:00
thx for the comments pegelli & brettania...this definitely will encourage me to try more assignments...
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Gabriel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gabriel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2010 at 16:07

Pic a day 2008 /2009/2010 galleries
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Berean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2010 at 16:22
Roses submitted for your perusal. A very difficult subject for me to attempt, and I've taken numerous shots. These shots have helped me to better understand low key photography. Started off using a table lamp, then turned it upside down, then used a halogen lamp but all of these didn't help. Finally used the halogen lamp with a snoot made out of a plastic cup, with a tea towel wrapped around it to stop the light escaping out the side.

a700, Sigma 70-200mm @ 180mm, f/4.5, 1/25s, exposure value to minus 1.6 stops, post processing contrast increased to medium, and red saturation increased to +4.


a700, Sigma 70-200mm @ 120mm, f/11, 1/3s, exposure value to minus 1.3 stops, post processing contrast increased to medium, and red saturation increased to +6.


My first attempt at this so hopefully it will be okay    Thank you. Ian.
Can't you see? It all makes perfect sense, expressed in dollars and cents, pounds, shillings and pence: Roger Waters.

A700, Sig 10-20, 17-70, 70-200, Min 24-85, 28, 50, Vivitar 100 macro, HVFL 42AM
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2010 at 17:01
@Gabriel: It appears to be a normal exposure of a dark object on a dark background. Low-key will typically have more interesting/dramatic lighting. Please try again.

@Berean: You have an interesting lighting setup using a cup/tea towel as a snoot. This is a good approach that may well give you the results we're after. As it is, the image and subject just look underexposed. A shot with more (and selective) illumination on the roses should do the trick.

Cheers... Brian

Edited by bms44974 - 02 February 2010 at 17:01
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Berean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2010 at 17:57
Thanks Brian: I think I was confusing low key with underexposure, and I certainly now see the difference. Initially I thought this image was over-exposed, but see it looks about right in comparison with the two previous submissions.

A700, Sigma 70-200mm @200mm, f/2.8, 1/15s, exposure value set to minus 1.6 stops, spot metering, ISO 250. PP contrast increase to medium, blacks increased by 3, sharpened.


The following image already submitted (last post) but exposure increased by 1 stop, and consequently desaturated by -3. Contrast increased to medium, blacks increased by 5, sharpened.


Thank you for your comments Ian.

Edited by Berean - 02 February 2010 at 18:06
Can't you see? It all makes perfect sense, expressed in dollars and cents, pounds, shillings and pence: Roger Waters.

A700, Sig 10-20, 17-70, 70-200, Min 24-85, 28, 50, Vivitar 100 macro, HVFL 42AM
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bms44974 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2010 at 19:28
@Berean: That's the ticket! Consider yourself passed. You might have used a bit more DOF in #1. Your homemade snoot was a good way to approach this assignment.

Cheers... Brian
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Berean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2010 at 19:46
Originally posted by bms44974 bms44974 wrote:

@Berean: That's the ticket! Consider yourself passed. You might have used a bit more DOF in #1. Your homemade snoot was a good way to approach this assignment.

Cheers... Brian


Thanks Brian: Hurrah! I'll move onto my next assignment    Ian.
Can't you see? It all makes perfect sense, expressed in dollars and cents, pounds, shillings and pence: Roger Waters.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gabriel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2010 at 14:20
Second try:


Pic a day 2008 /2009/2010 galleries
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2010 at 15:57
I think you nailed it now Gabriel. Also a nice composition and I like how you achieved the subtle lighting such that the sushi's still draw some shadow on the already dark table surface. Looking forward to your next assignment submission.
Mind the bandwidth of others, don't link pictures larger then 1024 wide or 960 pix high, see here
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pathway Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2010 at 18:06
Love the second roses pic and the sushi - nice work

Right - genuinely my first attempt at low key (well - about the 10th pic of the same subject I took) and, looking at this more, I think I've fallen into the trap of underexposing (even though there is a small +ev compensation).

I know its an age old idea for a low key photo - but I didn't want to push things on my first attempt. I will be giving this subject another go a.s.a.p. as there are a number of areas I would want to improve on but am asking for CC to help me out.

FYI - Photo was taken lit by candle light from the left (you can see the candle reflected in the glass) with custom WB in camera and manual exposure/shutter speed/aperture. I used a black jumper to give the dark background.

Lastly just want to say a big thanks for setting these assignments up - I don't get much chance to take more than crappy snapshots most of the time but these have made me step back and think a lot more (in fact I can't stop thinking about it) and has introduced a whole range of ideas. (I don't think I would ever have taken a photo like the primary color one without a push - even if it isn't a work of art)


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