High key happiness

I’ve found a new way of dealing with seasonal affective disorder: by shooting high-key winter scenes.


Pine. f/4, 1/25, ISO 400; modified using Color Efex Pro.

Not only does it force me to get outside for my 15 minutes of sunshine (or clouds), seeing the snow and background as white instead of the more realistic gray really helps my mood.

Winter by the lakeside

Winter by the lakeside: f/5, 1/200, ISO 200

A year ago, I actively avoided overexposing shots that included snow. I worried about all of the photographic information that was lost if I didn’t have detail on every snowflake. Now I say: bah! who needs all those (extra) shades of gray?

Winter Impressions

Winter Impressions: f/8, 1/8, ISO 80. This shot was taken using the vertical pan method that I talked about 2 posts ago.

If you’re not purposefully controlling shutter speed, just go with a relatively wide aperture (low f-stop); and, using aperture priority mode, overexpose by a stop or two (or more).

Save money! Replace your light therapy with some happy, overexposed photos!



    • Thanks Mike! I was surprised at how much I liked them (if I had known it before, I wouldn’t have waited so long). I’m not sure, but I think the trick is to have a subject that’s dark enough, and a background that’s light enough, that the high-key version looks almost normal. I think.

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