Sunday, February 14, 2010

Project 59

Following on from the last project on filling shadows and managing contrast I kept the lighting rig together to do a couple of shots of a bunch of tulips for a pair of picture frames in the house.  I used two lights, one as the main light and the other as the background by shooting the tulips in front of a soft box.  I then supplemented this with a reflector to the right of the tulips for fill and a small one directly in front but below to reflect some light up into the tulips.  I made two photographs this way, a close up and a wider angle shot.  This was also a chance to try out a 2nd hand 180mm Macro lens I just bought

EOS 5D2, 180mm, 1/125s, f/11, ISO 100

EOS 5D2, 180mm, 1/125s, f/13, ISO 100

As I started packing away the lights I decided to retain one and use the tulips as the subject for project 59, concentrating the light.  I placed a snoot over the single flash gun and then attached a honeycomb grid to further concentrate the light.  My light was now acting like a search light with a very narrow focused beam off light:

EOS 5D2, 58mm, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 

This has dramatically altered the image, now I have sharp black shadows and only a small part of the frame is illuminated.  However, in this image the flowers were too small, so I moved in a little more and doubled the light intensity

EOS 5D2, 82mm, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100

The tulips are better lit now, but the background is very distracting, so I changed the set by putting the flower vase on a black felt mat and hanging a black cloth behind.  Hopefully I would be able to completely isolate the tulips

EOS 5D2, 93mm, 1/125s, f/58, ISO 100

After some experimentation, I got the above shot.  This required pushing the light to full power, 2 stops more than with the last image which was under exposed.  I also wanted more DOF in the tulips.  This image really accentuates the colours of the flowers and the contrast between the red and the green.  I am giving serious thought to photographing a bunch of tulips such as this for my assignment 4, there are so many details and angles available within these flowers.

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