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Ian Fraser's picture

fist time with macro flowers

I helped with class this last week on Photographing Flowers and I decided to give low key a try.

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8 Comments

Ruth Carll's picture

Nice work Ian! As you know, I love low key botanicals. The second image here is lovely. The exposure is perfect. Very impressive. Reds can be tough in low key but yours here are great. The hairs on the tip of the first image are a little bright but nice as well it's just that the second image is great!

Looking forward to more!

Ian Fraser's picture

thank you, Ruth. I was trying really hard to separate the flower from the rest of the plant. It did prove to be more difficult than i thought it would be, especially on the second image.

Ruth Carll's picture

Sometimes the simplest looking images are the hardest! I feel your pain!

For what it is worth, when I am wanting to do something in this style (which I love), I spend more time searching for the right flower than taking the picture or editing! I search for subjects where the plant is in low light and a single flower is in direct light with nothing directly behind it. Then I determine if the flower is pretty and in the right orientation. It is really difficult to find. After I take the shot and head to the computer, I have to do minimal tweaking to drop out the background a bit. I don't like using a flash to create this look because the light it too harsh and I like a softer look of natural light. I have not had success at forcing this style on any flower that I might fancy. For me, this 'hunt' is part of what makes this rewarding when I all the pieces fall into place.

i'm glad to have someone else trying these. I'd love to hear about your process.

Ian Fraser's picture

Our small group had access to a garden center and i was able to pull this out into the lane, this was the best looking flower with minimal clutter. Luckily I have a flash that supports HSS since i had to run a very fast shutter to cancel out ambient light and fight a breeze that was moving around the greenhouse. I was able to get rid of the green around the edges with some minor Photoshop work. I had the flash about a foot away and angled to minimize bleeding on to the background and I held a bounce card to control shadows. I think the settings for this shot was around 1/800s at iso 1000.

Ruth Carll's picture

That's great info. I need to get better with a flash. I am like a kindergartener with one!

Jeremy Martignago's picture

Beautiful shots Ian these look amazing nice lighting and composition.
I have a question for you. my flash only fires when the shutter speed is at 160th or lower how did you get such a high shutter speed? is there a button or setting I need to change?

Ian Fraser's picture

my flash and triggers support high speed sync.
to get the same effect with a lower shutter speed you will need to set your ISO and fstop to give you a true black frame (you might need to use an ND filter also) then, add the flash as close as possible to the subject. after that adjust the flash's intensity to give your subject proper lighting.

I used a single flash with small foam core board to bounce and correct shadows.

Jeremy Martignago's picture

Nice. thank you so much Ian Great advice I want to try this out.