Spring Musings in black and white

Tulip Portrait

We were a group of four going out for photography on a Saturday. Then one group member also wanted to go out on the Friday before, two volunteered to join. I bailed on the Friday because I had to work. Next, two of the three bailed on the Friday outing and then three of us made plans for Saturday morning, but two bailed on the Saturday plans and all was suddenly canceled as a result. The light was not going to be good anyway.  This is not the end of the story, but…

Unlike photography plans with other people, still life and close-ups at home by oneself does not require good weather and depends on no one else. In a previous post I mentioned darkening the background and selective lightening as a means to make flower pictures a little more interesting. If you are like me and rather work in black and white, there are also numerous possibilities. However, since color is not present to bring interest, the composition will have to highlight the shape, form and texture of the flower.  

More of my botanical photographs can be found here.

Location: studio;

Equipment: Nikon Z50, AF-S NIKKOR 105mm F2.8G,  speedlight, off camera trigger, light stand, diffuser, Red Lee Polyester filter, black background;

Settings: f/18, 6s, ISO 100;

Tips: separate the background from the subject when using the flash, position one flash plus diffuser around 8 o’clock with respect to the flower. In the picture above, I used  Lee Polyester Filters for black and white photography. These types of filters are rarely used these days because there is a way to achieve a similar effect in post-processing. A filter will lighten any color that is similar to its own and darken other colors. In the example above, the red flower would be rendered dark, almost black, “out of camera” if you set your picture mode to monochrome, or in post-processing, if you convert to black and white by simply desaturating the picture. With the filter, it was rendered light grey, giving me more possibilities to work with. 

Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

5 thoughts on “Spring Musings in black and white

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