Incandescent lamps (Tungsten or Incandescent)
Very cold balance, designed to neutralize the orange light of incandescent lamps with a color temperature of about 3000 K. Images taken in the evening under artificial light, in the…

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Factors affecting bokeh
The number and shape of aperture blades The arrangement of the lens aperture affects not so much the quality of the blur as the shape of the blur circles. In…

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Camera modes
Today, any digital camera offers the photographer a frightening variety of shooting modes. Due to the fact that the instructions for cameras describe the features and purpose of a particular…

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Tonal range values

The tone of a photographic image is determined by the proportions in which black, white, and gray tones are correlated.

Degrees of tonality in photography
The human eye recognizes up to three hundred steps between white and black. In a black-and-white image, there can be up to thirty tones (long tonal scale) or up to ten tonal shades (short scale).

Moderation in the number of tones sometimes provides a photo with greater expressiveness. By eliminating the middle tones, you will get rid of non-essential elements, and photos taken in a certain key will turn out to be very effective.

Tonality in a photo and its meaning

Tonal range values
Light colors evoke peace and joyful emotions. Dark ones provide the effect of shrillness and drama.

Portrait or landscape photography is preferred in the dominant key. This helps to achieve the expressiveness of the image.

Tonality in a photo and its meaning

Speaking of the tonal range as a scale from absolute darkness to maximum brightness, the following values are highlighted:

Black point
Any area of the photo with zero brightness and no detail.

Tonality in a photo and its meaning
Dark areas of the photo where there is detail (carrying information).

Tonality in a photo and its meaning
Mid tones, shadows
The range that contains the most information, and the areas of the image are neither dark nor light. However, it is important to keep in mind that a photo consisting exclusively of medium tones is not dynamic, static, or boring.

Tonality in a photo and its meaning
Areas with very high brightness. In this case, the details are still viewed.

Tonality in a photo and its meaning
White point
The most striking parts. The details of the photo are completely blocked by the light stream.

Tonality in a photo and its meaning
There are photographers who believe that all parts of the image must display a specific level of detail for the viewer. At the same time, professionals still often experiment with brightness, getting, as a result, unique remarkable photos.

Dark and light tones
Low Key or dark key
Images taken in this style are distinguished by the fact that dark (or black) elements are prioritized in the image.

However, almost all the nuances are easily viewed; the light areas are rich and clean. As for the intermediate tones, they are not shown strongly, dark areas of the scale.

An important condition is the presence of independent bright areas.

It is necessary that the elements in the photo (excluding those that form a tonal accent) do not have significant differences in brightness.

To provide lighting, apply:

Counter light;
The counter-side;
The described style is perfect for landscape photography at dusk, the main thing is to apply additional lighting.

High Key or light key
Photos are characterized by light gray, pure white tones that make up most of the picture. In this case, it is necessary to have even small, but absolutely black elements. Their function is to give emphasis.

Tonality in a photo and its meaning

The proportions of the tones depend on both the lighting and the object being photographed, which must be predominantly light. After all, there is no way to make a photo of a dark object on a dark background in a light tone.

In this style, snow landscapes are performed, the water surface is photographed, as well as portraits.

The main condition is the organization of good, uniform lighting.

If you are shooting a portrait in a Studio, you need to create soft diffused lighting that eliminates the formation of dense shadows.

The difference in brightness on different parts of the object must be no more than one stage of exposure.

Learning to understand the tonal range that your photos consist of is a necessity.

You will use this knowledge to strive for technical excellence and develop an understanding of when you can break the rules to execute a creative idea.

How to get it in practice
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