16 Radiant Examples of High Key Photography

High key photography, when done properly, can yield some spectacular results. Originally developed, in part, as a means of overcoming the fact that early film and television were severely limited in their ability to handle high contrast situations, the technique was soon adopted by photographers as yet another creative way to express mood — typically a happy or energetic mood.
While the high key look can be achieved in Photoshop, purists will insist on doing it the “right” way: using multiple light sources, bumping up exposure a bit, etc. True high key photography is not about overexposure; it is, rather, about bright, nondirectional lighting and a lack of contrast and shadows. Naturally, there is some degree of stylistic subjectivity to account for and not every photo that fancies itself a high key image will match the criteria for high key imagery point for point. Sometimes that’s okay.
Here are 16 radiant examples of high key imagery.

High-key Tabletop
Photo by Dennis SkleyBaby -- High Key
Photo by Roberto TaddeoI Come in Peace
Photo by Jason Devaun
ghost station
Photo by Matthias Rhomberg
High Key Leaf 4
Photo by Dan Wiedbrauk
visage d'ange
Photo by Raphael Goetter
Photo by Matthias Rhomberg
Photo by Jason Devaun
Photo by Jason Devaun
Not a Hypnotoad
Photo by Matt Reinbold
Aufgegabelt 341/365
Photo by Olli Henze
high key
Photo by Arend
Photo by Agnes
high light?
Photo by rosmary
Sunny side up, coming up ˜
Photo by DanceofLifeImageMiner

About the author

Jason D. Little

Jason Little is a photographer, author and stock shooter. You can see Jason’s photography on his Website or his Instagram feed.

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