There’s a small vase on my kitchen counter with some really pretty little flowers in it compliments of my Mother-in-Law. I finally got a little time last night to take them down to my basement studio and take a couple of pictures. I had wanted to do some nice natural light shots but my schedule and the sun just refused to line up so I decided to go with a softbox instead.
I started shooting the entire bunch of mixed flowers but after a few minutes I decided to focus on just this one single flower. The colors were so bright and vivid that a white background tended to make the colors look a little muted so instead I went to a solid black background. To do this, I placed a black cloth on my studio table. I removed the flower from the vase and then used a small chip clip underneath the black cloth to hold the flower in place. The chip clip is just a small plastic clip used to close up a potato chip bag after it’s opened.
My lighting setup was pretty simple. I used a softbox as my main light, placed high and to the right of the flower. I then used an umbrella placed to the left at about half the power of the main light and then experimented with the exposure by moving the lights until I was happy with the fill.
I shot in manual mode at 1/125 of a second at f/14 with a Canon 500D Close-Up lens attached to the front of my 70-300mm zoom. The great thing about the close-up filter is that it can be used on a zoom lens so you can really change the framing of the subject without having to move the camera position like you would with a macro lens or extension tubes. The downside is that the close-up lens screws on to the front of the lens so you have to have different sizes if you want to change lenses, or just use it on lenses that all have the same screw-on filter diameter.
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the results. Not bad for about 30 minutes of work. Make sure you click on the photos to see a larger view.