High key fun

When I shoot glamour portraits, I like to use black and white, and I like to make them high-key, as in this example below from a few days ago.

Model Kim (Photo: Michael Willems)

Why high key b/w?

  • First, because I very much like the look.
  • Second, because by using high key B/W, I ensure that attention is drawn away from everything except the face – that is what we end up looking at. Eyes, face.
  • And high key minimizes facial flaws, wrinkles, blemishes: the lighter you make it, the less these will show up. I set my TTL flash to +1 stop FEC usually, or more.
  • And B/W also offers the option to reduce blemishes: just increase the relative luminance of the red channel (like using a red filter in the old days).

That’s four good reasons to do this if you want someone to look great and flawless. And who doesn’t want to look young and flawless?


2 thoughts on “High key fun

  1. Thank you Michael for this blog – I read it daily and have learned so much from you…. Your model is stunning and love her perfect skin – high key B/W creates stunning shots.

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