My personal goal is to interpret the theme with a photographic, not always literal, perspective or technique.  For the theme “kiss”, I opted to keep trying low-key lighting with a flower that has been ‘kissed’ by the light.  My vision this week was to create an image of a subject that has been very lightly illuminated, with a very dark background, conveying a sense of light washing over only the tulip.


Low-key is a terrific challenge.  It’s actually a simple technique that brings instant drama to an image.  I read an article that described the technique as “illumination and elimination”.  Illuminating just the subject, or a portion of the subject – and eliminating ambient light.

I understand low-key contains mostly dark colors and tones, but because it’s almost Valentine’s Day and the theme is “kiss” – I went with the pink tulip instead of a darker tone.   The result is a striking contrast created by reduced lighting.  All it takes is a camera and one light source.  After I took many shots, I realized one of the tricks is not to allow any light to reach the background.  Lack of light puts all focus on what light is allowed to stay.

It’s a very controlled atmosphere, paying close attention to light and shadows to achieve the vision.  Precise application of light is required in order to control the shadow detail.  I used a household flashlight, with all other lights off.  Last night I went to a macro photo workshop where I was reminded to turn OFF the vibration compensation when using my tripod; and it made a world of difference with my focus for this shoot.

Easy.  And hard.  I love this lighting challenge.

Am I stretching the theme?  Maybe…but it doesn’t matter…for me, the point is to keep trying new techniques, keep looking for new compositions, always with a goal of making a great photo that includes my own interpretation of the weekly theme.

Low ISO of 100, long exposure of 3 seconds at f/9 for full focus, spot metered.  Thanks for stopping by, comments are welcome!


2 thoughts on “Kiss

  1. Gorgeous, Wendy!!! I expected food from you but this is wonderful. I think the interpretation is very creative. I also appreciate you explaining so much of the process. I don’t understand much at all about lighting so it is a great help. I’m most impatient so all of this is a challenge to me.

  2. Oh I understand that, Anne, believe me! It’s been a challenge all its own just to slow down, think about the shot and keep trying little different things until I get it right. But I will tell you…the gratification is immense when I do finally get it right. Thanks so much for your comment.

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