View Full Version : Low Key? Images

12-17-2010, 11:18 AM
It seems there's a current preference for darker, less bright prints, for lack of a better description, low key.

Lots of shadow and mid range detail, with most hilights well down the brighness scale. Many of the prints don't even seem to use the full brightness range for specular highlights. Anyone else notice? I'm just getting back into the hobby,,, but it didn't seem to be quite as popular in the 70's, how long has it been going on?

12-17-2010, 11:44 AM
Yes I've noticed the same thing. I also am returning after a long absence from the hobby and have been looking at current trends. Not sure why. Matching the current mood in society? Like hem lines on womens' dresses, going up and down depending on the economy? :confused:

12-17-2010, 11:50 AM
If you're referring to images in the gallery here, I don't think that's basis to assume there's a current trend for lack of highlights.
It's most likely the result of bad craftsmanship. Not to say there's no quality work in the gallery of course!

12-17-2010, 12:10 PM
No, it's not just here. It's nearly everywhere I turn. Just a current trend in dark, moody pictures.

12-17-2010, 12:39 PM
it has been suggested by some that "neo pictorialism" might have something to do with it.

12-17-2010, 06:49 PM
Ok,,, I don't feel so bad, somebody else has noticed.

Not a bad thing, just seems like by the time I get half way good at something like that it's gone from cool to ho-hum.

12-17-2010, 07:08 PM

12-17-2010, 07:24 PM
The "dark" technique has a long history in visual art. The word for it, "tenebrism", was first used to refer to sombre paintings. The grand master of the style usually nominated is Caravaggio.

Dark pictures are supposed to convey drama, seriousness, profundity, and worthiness. In some professional anthologies, say the Australian Institute of Professional Photography annual awards, the technique is widely embraced to the point of unconscious self-parody.

Styles come, styles go. Followers always outnumber leaders.