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  • Writer's pictureBethany Plonski

Lovely and Low Key

Goodness, this month has gotten away from me! I meant to finish up the last of my posts about Hickory Knob State Park weeks ago, but there's been a lot going on. Anyway, I thought I would close this experience out with a few of my favorite low key shots from the park.

When I got back into photography a few years ago, one of the first things I wanted to learn how to do was create images with dark backgrounds. Since then, low key has become one of my favorite styles to work in. Although low key is usually associated with studio environments, it's also possible to compose low key shots outside during the day. It just requires a very specific type of light and a heavier hand in post-processing.

It's always exhilarating to find a subject in the kind of lighting that will work for a low key shot. This blue dasher was perched on a twig in a shady area at the edge of the woods with just a bit of bright sunlight spotlighting its intricate wings.

Spotted St. John's Wort

I wasn't quite sure if this ghostly looking daddy longlegs was alive, but it was a pretty perfect candidate for a low key shot. It was completely still and appeared to be resting on the remains of another small spider, whose legs you can see to the right of its body in the photo. During my stay I was surprised by how many daddy longlegs I saw in the park, which made me realize that I really haven't noticed that many of them since I've been in Georgia. After doing some research I realized that they do live in Georgia, so I guess I haven't been looking hard enough!

This lovely doe settled down in a perfect natural spotlight just as the cool of the morning was fading. I loved watching the deer graze each morning. After they had eaten their fill, they would head into the woods to lie down in the shade and rest during the hottest parts of the day.

Red-Headed Woodpecker

And just because I love contrast, I’m going to end this series of posts about my lovely and low key stay at Hickory Knob with a high key image. I still have a lot to learn about high key, but I liked how it worked for this shot. It's definitely a more stylized look than I usually prefer, but I wanted to give it a try to draw more attention to this stunning woodpecker's red head.

As I mentioned earlier, life has been hectic lately, but I’ve been out shooting quite a bit in the midst of it all, and I look forward to sharing some more recent work soon.


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