High key winter

There’s a small village in our area that sits on the edge of a large lake.  It was a railroad town for a bit, now mostly a lake community.  I photograph around there because the lake is a nice backdrop throughout the seasons.  This time I was playing around with high key B&W images and liked the way a couple of them turned out.  A high key image is one where most of the tones are at or above middle grey.  It’s useful to set a mood or draw focal attention to specific subjects.  For these I found it opened up the shadows nicely to reveal details that might be missed by the viewer.

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These are scanned images from 35mm Kodak T-Max 100 B&W film.  I’m learning to home-process using Kodak’s Xtol developer, which is known for fine grain and dynamic range.  So far I’m liking what it produces.  Winter is a good time to practice high key because you can ignore the really white snow and cloudy skies to focus on the details and tones of just part of the image.


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