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Mike Osmond's picture

Zebra, in triplicate (high key B&W)

Although they number in their millions in Africa, Zebra always make for interesting subjects to me...

I managed to catch these three in the same position and decided to try a B&W conversion and then to take it a step further by trying (for the first time) to push my boundaries a bit, I tried a high key version of it.

The thing about high key, is that I find that the image itself has to lend itself (suit) the genre and then on top of that, how much is enough? I've seen some horrendously garish images when pushed to far...

So, have I taken it far enough? I'd love to hear your opinions...

Thanks and regards,


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Chris Jablonski's picture

Hi Mike! Nice image. Very graphic. I don't know if you mean here
what I usually take "high-key" to mean. As I understand it, it essentially means light in tone, or pale, with little or no dense black.

I don't know what your original file looked like, but at a glance to me this could be a SOOC image of the zebras. I think it does lend itself to a high-key look, and had a quick go myself at producing such an image. Detail is lost (e.g. the ears) although with careful processing more could be retained if you wish, and there is less sense of realism and depth, both common features of high-key images for me.

Garish to you?

Chris Jablonski's picture

Or were you thinking of the high-contrast, "lith film" look, with no greys, only pure black and white? That can certainly be very bold.

Mike Osmond's picture

Hi Chris,

Thanks so much for your input and both of your suggestions which do inspire me to try something more edgy...

Thanks and regards,


Alan Brown's picture

Thanks for posting Mike. I like the image the way it is, but can see how Chris's suggestions also provide different options (there's nothing to say you can't have multiple variations of the same photo.

I love the patterns created by this grouping and just had to play with the cropping. Here's yet another option if you want to try something wholly abstract (again, not to replace the original which I really like)

Mike Osmond's picture

Thanks too Alan for your suggestion and I love the abstract look that you've gotten out of the image...