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Scott Thomas over at Views Infinitum has put forth his latest photo assignment, this time, the topic is ‘Interpretation of White.’

Now, being winter, the most obvious thing to do is to photograph snow. But, why would I do the obvious? 🙂

I didn’t intentionally go out and photograph a subject for this assignment, but while out shooting snowy landscapes, I came across a dried seed head of unknown origin and photographed it using manual aperture and shutter speed settings to intentionally produce an overexposure.

Winter White

“Winter White” (Unknown Seed Head) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/5, 1/125s, ISO 640

Against the highly reflective snowy background the resulting image ended up being what is termed, ‘high key’.  A high key image generally means one that consists almost entirely of light tones with relatively few mid-tones or shadows.

In other words, a whole lotta white.


  1. Oh, very, very nice! Thank you for joining with the assignment, Tracy!

    • Thanks Scott! I actually hope to submit a few more before the deadline. We shall see if inspiration strikes again!

  2. I agree, very, very nice!

    • Thank you! I really questioned this image but figured, with Scott’s assignment, ‘What the heck?’ 🙂

  3. Excellent photo. I really don’t know what else to tell you… it’s superb.

  4. You did well. I think high key is a discipline that takes a lot of practice to master. I for myself is just a beginner: on image for larger version.

    • Thanks Carsten. I agree and I do not shoot in high key enough. I typically prefer soft-light, almost low-key images. You should try it on flowers – something with alot of color that won’t get too washed out with all the bright light. Flowers also have folds and such so some delicate shadowing will still appear. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Very nice intentional overexpose… high key. I haven’t tried that yet; however, after looking at this I may experiment.

    • Thanks Anna! I’ve been meaning to comment on your site – both you and Preston take amazing landscape photos! 🙂

  6. I love this photograph. The white of the background draws attention to the white areas of the flower. I agree with Anna, nice choice to over expose the photo.

    • Why, thank you Maggie! I appreciate your comments! I really have to hand it to all the other photogs out there who give me inspiration and new ideas every day. If it weren’t for Scott Thomas and the assignment, this image probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day! 🙂

  7. I really like this! Love the shallow depth of field.

    • Thank you, KD! I was trying to do something different for the assignment as I knew, being winter, snow would be the obvious (I am a bit stubborn in that, when challenged, I tend to take the path less travelled). I am so glad you like my efforts! 🙂

  8. Very striking image. It looks like something that should be in a magazine ad for some natural product for your skin. Beautiful!

    • Thank you, Jennifer! Hmmmm, maybe the unknown seed pod holds the secret to young skin?? Wouldn’t that be nice!! 🙂

  9. I love winter white and you’ve captured it so well. Your photography work is wonderful. What a talent you have!

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Assignment 5: Recap « Views Infinitum on 10 Feb 2010 at 2:13 pm

    […] key portraits is very popular for people.  Tracy Milkay took the high key concept and creates one using what was left of a wild seeded plant.  White didn’t have to be the subject of the photo for this assignment but a large part of […]

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