Definition of Low Key Lighting in Photography

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Low key lighting in photography is a term that has a very specific and important definition. Get the definition of low key lighting in photography with help from an experienced director of photography in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Photography Lighting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dan Reinecke with Unknown Media. Now today, I'm going to help define what a low key lighting situation is in photography. Now a key light is your main source of light. It's your key light to the scene. Now this right here, this is my key light, it is giving me the most exposure. Now with this, this right here would be considered somewhat of a high key situation. Now, this here, this is a higher key situation. It's a lot brighter and it gives just a lot greater of an overall exposure to the image. Now, bringing it back down, this is going to be still somewhat of a high key situation. Now, a low key situation is going to be more around this range. Things are still in exposure but the key light is a lot lower right. Now, one thing that you may run into, a problem that if you really try to go and get into more of a low key scenario you may underexpose the image which is something that you're really going to want to avoid. So a low key lighting situation it's going to take a little bit more time and a little bit more patience but the result can be quite interesting. You can get a lot more mood into your photos. So hopefully that helped shed a little light on a low key lighting situation. I'm Dan Reinecke, take your best shot.


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