High key photography uses  bright lighting to blow out most or all harsh shadows in an image. High key methods were originally developed as a solution to screens that couldn’t properly display high contrast ratios, but has developed into more of a stylistic choice. High key images usually bring happy and bright mood, it also convey a positive or upbeat tone. Some high key images sometimes makes us feel ethereal, delicate and dream-like. High-key photography usually have pure or nearly pure white backgrounds.

When looking at a High Key images, you will probably notice a few things. The first thing is that the picture is bright. Yes – to create a high key image you need to set your exposure levels to high values but remember it doesn’t mean over expose. You will need to watch out, the outline of the image should be there. The other feature is the lack of contrast. In addition for the tone being bright, you will notice that it is almost even across the scene. This is achieved by carefully setting the lighting of the picture. A third feature, that need closer attention to notice is the lack of shadows in the picture. The shadows cast by the model (or subject) are suppressed by lighting in the scene.


Here are some samples of high key images: