High Key Flare

Since a student today asked me about “High Key”, I thought perhaps I would share a repeat of a 2014 post. As well as pointing out the “search” field in www.speedlighter.ca, a rather useful resource. Anyway, without further ado, here’s the 2014 post:

I did a portrait session yesterday, of another photographer, the talented and beautiful Tanya Cimera Brown.

Tanya wanted a high key portrait with blown out background and flare. A portrait that looks like it was taken in front of a bright window.

Flare, eh? Like this?

Yes, like that.

So how did I get that?

Flare is basically “lens imperfections with strong incoming light”. Like bright back light. It gets worse with some lenses (like the 70-200) and conditions (like filters). But instead, I used my 85mm lens. Not much flare there.

So I did it like this:

Five flashes: Softbox, umbrella, hair (strobes); then background, flare (speedlights). Flare? Yes, see that speedlight hanging down? Hardly visible? That is because it is shining toward me. And that with the bright background (speedlight left) gives me what I want, if my lens is in its light.

Done. A bit of logic always works. Logic rocks! Here’s one more.


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