Illuminate & Shoot Indoor Floral Arrangements
During the Spokane winter months I like to shoot indoor floral images. Most of the time I shoot during the day using natural side light. With this week’s photo challenge, “illumination,” I experimented shooting with artificial light against a dark background.
<> Purchase fresh flowers from a local store. In some cases you can actually order a specific type of flower if it is not in stock. Look for flowers without blemishes.
<> Use a 60 watt light bulb with a flexible or gooseneck head so you can easily reposition the light to get just the right angle.
<> A tripod.
<> Use a dark background. In my case, a piece of black fabric. Place your dark background directly behind the flower(s) at least 2 feet.
<> Pick a room that is dark. I shot my images in our basement. After you have adjusted your set up turn off any overhead lighting.
<> Position the light at an angle to the lens, 90° is best. If you are shooting the flower straight on, the light should be above, or to the side of the flower. Move the light around to see how the pedals look.
<> Avoid overly bright areas. You will need to experiment by moving the light away from the flowers 3-4 feet.
<> Exposure is the most challenge and critical step. In most cases, I find underexposing works best as it will bring out richer colors and helps achieve a darker background. Ideally, you will need to change you camera’s white balance because you are using artifical light. Better yet, use the “pre-white balance” feature on your camera. Learn how to do that here: “Camera White Balance – A Secret Tool for Dazzling Color Images.”
<> Shoot a lot of frames. I usually end up taking at least 20 images.
<> You don’t have to limit your images to just floral.