“If you want something to look interesting, don’t light all of it.” Quote attributed to John Loengard (he died last year at age 85).
Chaparral Currant, Hybrid Hellebore and California Poppy were flowering last weekend at the UC Davis arboretum. There were a few other flowers in the garden: Angel’s trumpets, succulents, yellow daisies, Manzanita, Narcissus and Oxalis.
Spring is finally upon us in California. Soon, the social media sites will be filled with flower pictures, so it’s a good time now to start thinking about different techniques to capture these beautiful subjects. Selective lighting and darkening the background are among my favorite tricks to make a flower picture look a little different. What is yours?
Location: UC Davis Arboretum, CA, USA;
Equipment: Nikon D750, AF-S NIKKOR 105mm F2.8G, speedlight, off camera trigger, light stand, Rogue Flash Grid System;
Settings: f/5, 1/200”, ISO 100;
Tips: To obtain a dark background, I used an off-camera speed light going through a Rogue Flash Grid pointing at the flower from the side. The grid directs the light into a spot, rather than illuminating all of the subject. A diffuser between the subject and the flash is always advisable. I used a piece of foam underneath the grid to soften the otherwise hard light coming from the speed-light.