High Key Photos

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.

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