Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Only Place to Shoot Flowers

Okay, not the "only place" but probably the ideal place to shoot flowers is in the studio. It just eliminates so many of the distractions and problems of shooting flowers in the field. There's a lot of things that can be done in studio that will give the look of being shot in the wide open spaces.

Have you ever seen the shots of the underside of a flower with the blue sky just as pretty as, well..., a picture? Where do you figure the photographer was? In a hole? Go to the florist, pick through a hundred flowers, get the one that's perfect and bring it home. That blue sky you see is probably a piece of kid's construction paper. Control is the name of the game when shooting flowers. In the field you could hardly call it "still life". Even on the calmest days you will most likely have some breeze blowing ever so gently. In the studio you can lock that sucker down to the point where it wouldn't move if you had a high CFM blower going across the stage. In order to get decent DOF you'll need a small F-Stop, which means a slow shutter speed.

The shot accompanying this post was shot using daylight corrected CFLs through a softbox. The shutter speed was about 1.3 seconds. The background appears to have "something" going on , perhaps additional flowers. Actually, I was trying to kick a little light up under the flower to produce a more translucent quality. I used the gold surface of a 5 in 1 reflector and wound up getting the moving reflector in the shot. My first reaction was "you dummy", but once viewed on a monitor I saw the possibilities in the error. Rather than being a detriment to the image, it added depth.

One of the best things about shooting in the studio is you have all the time in the world. You don't have be worried about the sun getting to high in the sky. If you want a sunrise quality to the light, knock yourself out. Just past sunset, go for it. You're in control, and being "in control" of the light is a key to interesting photography, in the studio or in the field.


Kathy Marciante said...

Beautiful shot Tom!!!! You're so right about taking the flower into the studio! You can also shoot out in natural light if you's about being able to move the flower and choose your own background.