Creating a Stark Black & White Effect
Every once in a while I like to experiment with high key black and white photos. A high key photo has most of the mid-tones removed, leaving only the darkest part.
There are basically three ways to do this:
- Overexpose the subject leaving little detail of the mid-tones.
- Use high contrast film eliminating or minimizing the mid-tones of the original.
- Use digital software to achieve a similar effect.
Here are a few examples using all three techniques.
Typically, a photo that is very bright and has almost no shadows is considered to be high key.
Some of these images were processed in the darkroom using high contrast film (they’re from the 1970s) and others were adjusted digitally to make them brighter and to remove the shadows.
I’m happy with the results.