Monday, November 30, 2009

Off Season Is No Reason To Give Up On Flowers

Some things are seasonal and some things can be year round opportunities. It's a wee bit tough to get good (or any) baseball shots at this time of the year. There's probably not a whole lot going on down at the old swimming hole either. Unless you're a lot further south than Connecticut there's not many leaves left of the trees to get lush shots of long vistas. That doesn't mean you have to give up on all the things you think of when you get that summer sort of feeling. Flowers are a good example of something that can be shot all year round. Rather than a walk out in the back yard, you might need a trip down to your local florist. There are good points to needing to buy flowers and bad points. The primary bad point is that summer flowers are free, winter flowers aren't. On the other hand, you get to select flowers at the flower shop and reject any that don't meet with your "standards". The florist has some level of control over what he/she gets in, so you have a minimum level of beauty to start with. Damaged flowers just are not accepted by the florist, so you can cancel that off your list of things to look for. You don't have to limited to the type of image you get by shooting in the comfort of your home. You can create realistic environments and have a whole different method of "taking the shot" from what's available with outdoor photography. A friend of mine used to take incredible shots of flower arrangements and didn't even use a camera. To find out how you can "take incredible shots" and not use a camera, hit the "read more".

Today's image is a pretty straight shot. It could be taken outside during the summer or inside with a setup. Today's image just happened to be taken outside. To "take" the type of shots my friend took of flower arrangements you can keep your camera in the case. Wayne would get a host of perfect flowers and arrange them on the bed of his scanner. This involves a little negative thinking because you're arranging the flowers face down, building the bouquet from front to back without being able to see the front of the arrangement. It's not as easy as tossing some flowers down in a random fashion. You have to take into consideration the stem of each flower and how it will relate to the flowers that come after. You really don't have to worry about the depth of the arrangement, because you're not going for a three dimensional object.

Another thing you don't have to think about is the lid of the scanner. Just leave it open or off. Turning off the room lights isn't that big a deal either. You have to remember what we're dealing with here. Light! Everything about the way light works comes into play when making a "scanograph" The fall off of the light remains fixed to the inverse square law. The light source you'll be using is about one inch from the plain of focus of the flowers. By the time the light goes anywhere else (the ceiling, the walls, etc) the amount of light is so small that you background is black. The room lights will be over powered by the light of the scanner and reduced to zero influence. Seeing as you can set the level of PPI you want you can have as detailed a shot as you'd like.

Taking pictures without a camera is something to consider for a winter activity. It'll make you stop and think about how light works and, perhaps, give you a better understanding of what you're doing when you snap the shutter next summer.