A to Z Challenge: K is for Key Light

Welcome to today’s post for the great Blogging A to Z Challenge!

Today is K is for Key Light.

So, key light.  I thought about doing Kaleidoscope, but lighting is important in photography and the key light is the most important light (hence, “key”).

So, key light is one of the Three-Point Lighting Technique lights.  According to http://www.mediacollege.com/lighting/three-point/, you have key light, fill light and back light.   This article states that key light “is the main light. It is usually the strongest and has the most influence on the look of the scene. It is placed to one side of the camera/subject so that this side is well lit and the other side has some shadow.”  And just so you know, fill light is secondary, usually shines on a subject from an angle relative to the key light (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-point_lighting), and is used to balance key light and “to fill the shadows created by the key”, while back light is placed behind a subject and used to create a three-dimensional look.

You can also take photos using high key lighting or low key lighting.  According to http://photography.tutsplus.com/tutorials/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-shooting-low-key–photo-3427, “low key refers to a style of photography that utilizes predominantly dark tones to create a dramatic looking image. Where high key lighting seeks to over light the subject to the point of reduced contrast, low key lighting intensifies the contrast in an image through intensely reduced lighting.”  Low key lighting does create some pretty dramatic images as you can see on the above website.

I haven’t taken a lot of pictures with light placement, but here are some pictures I pulled from the vault showing different lighting.






I don’t have any fancy lights to illuminate my subject, but let’s see what a basic desk lamp (with very little other light in the room) can do.

From above


From the left


From the right


From the front


Posted on April 13, 2016, in A to Z Challenge and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I love the cat close-up!

  2. Great photo of your kitties! You can sure tell the difference of where the light is located, by the shadows it creates in the photo above. Very good explanations of all the camera terms!

  3. This is a very informative post with some good information. Thanks for sharing.

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