Daytime low key photographs

My previous attempts at low key images had either been taken on a darkened theatre stage or, long after the sun had dipped below the horizon. Both situations providing an almost pitch black environment making it relatively easy for me to create the desired lighting effect. This time I was shooting around 1 o’clock on a bright summer’s day & so I needed to re-think my methods.

I selected ISO 100 & set the shutter speed to 1/200 which is my maximum flash sync speed. With the speedlight turned off (mounted on a stand & firing through a white flash umbrella), I took a shot with aperture f/11. However, the resulting image wasn’t completely black. I couldn’t increase my shutter speed to make the image darker because I was already at my maximum sync speed, so I would have to reduce the aperture size (f/16 did the trick). Now I could take shots knowing the only thing illuminating the object, in this case a cymbal, was the light from my flash.

Once I had the the image loaded onto my computer the only things to do were a black & white conversion, apply minimal sharpening & that was it. Well, that was going to be it but as I continued to play around with the image I discovered I really liked this pin hole camera style effect achieved by adding a vignette.

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Week 30

Settings: Samsung Galaxy S4

Set up. Out & about.

Opinion. Here is another example of the best camera being the one you have with you at the time. On the way to a birthday party with my daughter, we’d parked up & were walking to the venue when we passed this street. The old MG at the top of the image reminded me of a scene from the late 70’s (despite the modern rubbish bins lining the alley!) & so once home I added a sepia tint & vignette to try to recreate the appearance of an old photo.