Enjoying These Bad Times

By Bettye Sue Austin

We were told to stay home!   We couldn’t have our monthly Camera club meetings.  I couldn’t travel to some exciting place where I could get that perfect shot.  Knowing that our club was going to have contests on High Key and Abstract photography, I used the time to study these two types of photography.

High Key is a term used by photographers to describe images that are bright and contain little to no shadow.  It is a style of lighting that aims to reduce the lighting ratio present in the scene.  It is used to get the best photos that suggest an upbeat, low, contrast, and happy looking mood.  A high-key image consists primarily of light tones, without dark shadows.

I found that taking a good high key photo was more challenging than I thought.  You must have light on the white background.  The white part of your image will appear gray if there isn’t enough light.  You can use a flash to enhance the light or if you take the picture inside you can use lighting equipment.  I choose to shoot outside.  You can use the sunshine as a background instead of a white board.  I used a white board with a white anemone flower with a purple center.  I set my camera to overexpose the image two or three stops.  You have to be careful and not overexpose your subject.  It doesn’t have to be white on white.  The flower images were taken using the white background.

If you can’t get the light just right you can always use photo editing software such as Lightroom or ON1 to change the white in your photo if needed.  There are lots of tutorials and videos on the web that teach you how to shoot High Key photography.  Lightstalking.com is an excellent site for learning about photography.  Now that I know how to do High Key, I love it.

There are many definitions of what abstract photography is.  This definition was from https://abstractedreality.com/definition-of-abstract-photography/.  “Abstract images are conceived or imagined outside of ‘reality’.  They can encompass a huge variety of subject matter, take us out of our comfort zone, make us question what we see, or invite us to enter another realm”.  Another definition from Digital Photography School is “Expressing ideas and emotions by using elements such as colors and lines without attempting to create a realistic picture” https://digital-photography-school.com/.  The feature image, a round globe that I took at a shop in Ashville, North Carolina, is a good example of abstract photography.

To create abstract photos, move your camera as you shoot, move the subject, remove references, shoot through things, use multiple exposures, and create interesting images in Lightroom or any editing software.  You can take abstract photos with any camera or phone.

I took pictures of the fireworks on July 4th.   I wanted to move the camera to get unusual images so I didn’t use a tripod.  The images are of the fireworks as they were falling.  Because the shutter speed was so slow, and the fireworks were moving, the images do not resemble fireworks.  I got some interesting abstract type images.

Photography is fun and almost addictive.  When you load your photos into a photo editing program you see much more detail than you do looking at them on your phone or computer screen.  There are so many beautiful things to take a shot of in your own backyard.  The cardinal is a good example.

The Cookeville Camera Club will continue our monthly meeting whenever the Corona Virus allows us to meet.  Check our website for information about upcoming events.  Keep shooting and having fun during this unusual time in our lives.