Saturday, September 29, 2007

High Key - Cracked Egg

High Key is a style of lighting for film, television, or photography that aims to reduce the contrast ratio present in the scene. This was originally done partly for technological reasons, since early film and television did not deal well with high contrast ratios, but now is used to create an upbeat mood.

I was first introduced to the concept of High Key as part of an assignment on the Flickr Group Take a Class with Dave and Dave.

My submission to the assignment was a black and white high key of a cornflower.
Cornflower High Key
My camera at that time was my 5 year old Sony S85, which Medha now thinks is her camera and is doing a rather great job with.

My favorite submissions from other participants in that group were this, this and this. You can see all the submissions here.

I haven't been very successful with high key in color, therefore I am rather pleased with this attempt. What do you think?


In fact, so happy am I that I am sending it as an entry for Jai and Bee's first themed photo event, Click, where surprise! surprise! the theme is Eggs!

I knew what I wanted to do but I didn't quite know how to stand up the egg without the prop showing through. Any guesses on what I used? My husband - oh! is he out of the doghouse again or what?! ;-) - came up with the solution. What would I do without him?! Cos I was close to giving up.

I used a plain sheet of discarded drawing paper as the background and curved it up a bit to eliminate all the mess that lay on my dining table. I also tried to do as much in-camera editing by setting the exposure and shutter speed so that post-processing using Adobe Photoshop was limited to cropping, minor adjusting of levels and removal of some inadvertent drops of water that dampened the background paper as they were added to the cracked egg to make it flow over.

Camera: Sony DSLR A100
Lens: Kit lens 3.5-5.6/18-70 (birthday's coming up! Need to drop hints starting now! But I have to admit that for a kit lens, this lens rocks!)
Focal length: 70mm
Aperture: f6.3
Exposure time: 1/30
ISO: 400
White Balance: Sunny
Metering Mode: Spot
Post processing: Adobe CS

20 introspections:

click September 29, 2007 3:35 PM  

is there some gluey thing i see at the bottom of that egg? is that how you stuck it? or you could out some sand/rice under a cloth and keep the egg on top of the cloth to make it stand. love the pic. thanks for your great entry.

Manisha September 29, 2007 3:41 PM  

No glue was used. What you see is the albumen as it runneth over.

Sand, rice, cloth would give the base/background a texture as well as make it uneven. Plus it would show. My prop does not show. Yay for D!

Dee September 29, 2007 10:52 PM  

Great Picture Manish, I love the way u used the background...

Anita September 30, 2007 3:17 AM  

You rested it on your wedding band? :-D

Nupur September 30, 2007 3:53 AM  

You used Elmer's school glue/ Fevicol which dries to a transparent film??

Manisha September 30, 2007 9:49 PM  

Dee, thanks!

Nupur, nope! No glue. But definitely a girly thing, which did not occur to me!

Anita, you scare me sometimes. Yes, it was a band but not my wedding band. It was Medha's ponytail holder - an 'ouchless' slider that was white in color so it blended with the background and got 'whited-out' in the high-key process. Here's a test picture of the whole egg resting on the slider before I made any in-camera adjustments.

Here's the final high key of the whole egg. I preferred the cracked egg to this one for Click!

Anita September 30, 2007 10:28 PM  

Super simple! Good work, D! And M, you too!

Srivalli October 02, 2007 7:26 AM  

Hair band???...:))...whatever that looks great manisha...welcome back...nice to have a post from you after a long time..

Siri October 02, 2007 8:23 PM  

Lovely picture manisha.. very nice entry..

Foodie October 02, 2007 10:27 PM  

Wonderful pics. What a neat idea!!.
I think that's nailpolish that you stuck your egg with right?

Foodie October 02, 2007 10:30 PM  

Duhh!!! you already said what it was underneath the egg.

Rachna October 03, 2007 4:25 AM  

wow awsome picture...... i clueless at what prop you used to stand up the egg....

Padmaja October 03, 2007 5:18 AM  

incredible picture!! u girls all rock!!!
love the way u took it, great manisha!!

Meeta October 04, 2007 9:49 AM  

AN amazing shot Manisha! Simply love the effect!

Rina October 08, 2007 3:13 PM  

Egg-celent picture of cracked egg

Dwiana P October 15, 2007 7:36 PM  

Very nice Shot!!

Suganya October 26, 2007 11:32 PM  

Looks like yr assignment came handy at the right time. Great job, Manisha and many congratulations. I learnt about this technique after this post of yours. Thx for that :)

Manisha October 30, 2007 2:36 PM  

Thank you all very much!

Foodie, ha! ha! I do that all the time so no worries!

Rachna, see my previous comment for what I used.

Mansi Desai October 31, 2007 2:50 PM  

Nice job Manisha! Congrats on the win girl! look forward to more beautiful entries:)

Manisha November 16, 2007 2:37 PM  

Thanks, Mansi!

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