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By arhab
I read about low key photography, so i want to try it. The source of light from torch light, i put it on the side (in front of the truck). Comment an critique welcome, thank you Smile

Tags: Transport Close-up and macro Flash and lighting

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2016 United Kingdom
7 Jul 2012 6:26PM
I think you are on the right track here, Muhamad, but the truck needs to be sharper, and I wonder if something moved during your five second exposure. Also, I don't think it's necessary to have such a long exposure.
You want to select an aperture that restricts the amount of light entering your lens, and you will need to experiment with this. A smaller aperture than the one you used, say f8, would be a good place to start, and experiment from there. This will give you a greater depth of field, something that often looks good in low key photography.
Lower f number = wider aperture = more light = shallower depth of field
Higher f number = narrower aperture = less light = greater depth of field

Also, shoot at a low ISO to pick up less ambient light and less noise, so you didn't need to use 200ISO. Normally an ISO that low would produce an image thatís too dark under anything but decently bright conditions but here dark is exactly what you want. The bonus of shooting at ISO 100 is that the image quality stays high and void of color noise, which has a tendency to really stand out against a black background. (I assume you set up a black background).
You have chosen a nice brightly coloured article for your subject, but it does have some shiny parts, and they have not responded well to your lighting, but this could well just be due to your lengthy exposure, and not to the torch that you used. You were right to use a single light off to one side, but you have to make sure it is not so bright that it blows out your subject too much. This should give you fairly dramatic results with all the lighting biased towards one side of the image.
Shooting low key can be a fun change of pace, utilizing predominantly dark tones to create a dramatic looking image, intensifying the contrast in an image through intensely reduced lighting. The key is not just to produce a dark image but to use lighting very selectively so that only specific portions of the image are illuminated.
As for composition, have your truck at an angle, preferably with the front of it turned a little bit more towards you. Also, I feel you have too much of a dark area behind it, and it would be better with that dark area in the front of it, on the right side.
It's a good effort, keep on experimenting.

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arhab 6 43 2 Indonesia
13 Jul 2012 8:59PM
Sorry I am late to respond. Thank you for your explaination Pam. It is hard to isolated the light, and the shiny part of the truck is over exposure. I guess you are right, this is because of long exposure.

About composition, this image should seen all body of the truck Pam, unedit image is not truely dark but is not good. Smile
banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
13 Jul 2012 11:04PM
I wonder if this is what you may have been trying to do Muhammad?

arhab 6 43 2 Indonesia
13 Jul 2012 11:22PM
Grin You are right Willie,

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