The epic battle of High key vs Low key

This weeks assignment was high and low key photos of the same subject. I decided not only to do the high and low key shots but do similar composition for both images. This is my Bearded Dragon Ginger. She was very tolerant of sitting on the set for the half hour it took to get both shots right. The goal in high key ts to get as much white information in the shot without overexposing the image. Make it as light as possible controlling your light. The key here is to have some part of the image exposed properly and I chose that as the focal point of the shot, the eye of the lizard. I lit from diagonal right and left above the subject and bounced in from the top to remove as many of the shadows as I could while still maintaining a proper exposure.

The low key image is done quite the same way, get as much dark information in your shot without underexposing the image. The part I chose as the properly exposed area is the throat scales, and the rim lighted nose area. I switched from a white background to a dark background and went from 2 strobes and a bounce disc to 1 strobe powered down all the way. I had to move the strobe in and out of the set to get the proper rim light and exposure. Both of these shots were taken with a Canon 7d and a 100mm macro.

So what did I learn? Most importantly I learned that when your shooting reptiles on your set that the more light the hotter they get and the more active they get, in retrospect I should have done the 1 light low key shot first rather than firing up all the lights and getting her all warm and active.