High-Key means that the overall key tone of the photo is high.
The key to successful high-key photography is working with flat and ample lighting and at the same time avoiding the use of dark subject matter. White-on-white makes for the best high-key photos.
There are three characteristics of high-key photography:
- First is that the photo’s tone is very bright (not overexposed). Beginning photographer assumes that they can just overexpose the scene to get a high-key image.
- The second is a lack of contrast that is even across the entire photo.
- Thirdly shadow detail is at a minimum. Meaning that there should be little to no shadows cast by the main subject or they are suppressed by lighting in the scene
High-Key photography gives the impression of happy and joyful moods and positive emotions.