Picture of the day. Close up and still Photography.

My dear friend Jeff got my this fabulous flower arrangement. When I first saw it I got amazed by the looks and attention to details not to mention the fragrance was just incredible as well. Since flower look great for so long I decided I wanted to make them the subject of a photo shoot. My first thought was to take a few pictures of it but the few pictures turn out to be over 100 pictures and a bit over 3 hours. I started shooting the base only and then I got inspired and started to shoot individual flowers, different lenses angles and lighting scenarios.

Equipment used

The pictures were taken with a Canon 7D set at ISO  160 speed at 250 F8 and white balance fixed at 5800K for most images. Later during the shot I started using F16 for the close ups so I switched to ISO 200 and 250. I mostly used a Canon EF 24-70 2.8L and Canon EF 100Macro 2.8 also some pictures were done using a Canon EF-S 10-22 to get some different perspectives. As far as lighting this time I did not use strobes. I took all the pictures with a Canon 580EXII and a Lastolite easy box 2×2 and a white reflector to bounce some fill light on the opposite side. Later during the shoot I added a Canon 430EXII with an umbrella. I controlled the lights with a Pocket wizard mini TT1 and the AC3 controller (both lights were in manual mode on independent groups)

Thanks for looking and don’t hesitate to ask should you have any questions.

Regards,

Alex Elias

Advertisements

Still photography and feathering the light

My 3 Yr old son decided to yank this flower from the plant ( along with 12 other of it’s kind ) Since he go every flower with had there I wanted to at least have a picture of one before it die.

The backdrop I used was a piece of burlap that I thought it was going to work well. After a few shots I realized I did not liked the backdrop at all and started to pull it back to make it darker due to light fall off. Next thing you know I run out of space and I was able to still see the burlap pretty clearly.   After a few tries I figured that pulling the light farther away did help the background but the flower went darker in the same relation, so I went back to the original light position, added a black back drop and changed the angle of the light and that did the trick. Basically the light was not aiming directly at the flower, it was position in a way were the light traveled in front of the flower from right to left therefore feathering the light  it created a beautiful wrapping light that brought the flower back to life and added some depth and contrast.

Equipment Used.

Canon 7D with Canon Es 24-70 2.8L the camera was set at ISO 200 F5.6 I used one travelite 750 with a 36″x48″ Photoflex soft box (I did not need such a large box for this but it was up on the stand already) the light was triggered via Pocket wizard.

This is the end result

This picture was with the original set up.

And this two images show the light in relation to the flower.

Photo of the day. Macro photography flowers part 2

I wrote something about macro and close up photography a while ago here https://alexephotos.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/macro-photo-of-the-day-feathers/  this talks about the set up I used to take pictures of feathers. The ABC’s are the same.

Tripod is almost a must first for the obvious reason of steadiness and second to find the composition that better suits your eye and third so every thing remains the same if you like to play with the lights to get different effects, so a tripod is paramount for this kind of images.

Use the mirror lock up function if your camera has one (it helps reduce or eliminate vibrations created by the mirror when it flips up)  If you don’t know if your camera has that feature or not this would be a good time to get something call owners manual, it’s a little book that came inside the box and most likely was tossed aside 🙂 if the camera does not have a mirror lock up feature use a self timer.

Cable release or wireless trigger also helpful to reduce vibrations.

I used a Macro lens Canon EF 100mm 2.8 but it is not a must if you don’t own one work as close as the lens will let you. There are some accessories one can use as well such as close up filters, or extension tubes to increase the magnification.  Now that we are mentioning the lens it is best to focus manually to get the best possible focus and use a small appeture with ironically is the larger number this images were taken at  f20 although this will add to the Depth of filed it might not be the best f stop due to something call diffraction, f11 to f16 depending on the camera and lens could be safe.

As far as lighting  I used mainly one Canon 580EXII on a stand with a 24″x24″ lastolite soft box. The flash was trigger via  Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 on the camera and a Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 on the flash. The flash was set to manual (find your own exposure and flash distance to subject) and shoot away.

On some of the pictures of the Poppies you’ll noticed I used 2 Flashes, the main one and on the center post of the tripod I attached at second unit (Canon 430EXII) also in manual mode connected with a Pocket Wizard FlexTT5. Since the poppies are rather thin I wanted to see how it would look like with some light coming from behind the petals.

Reflectors could be helpful to fill in shadow areas on the opposite side of the main light, depending on the look that you are after and the lights available to you, a reflector allows you to shoot with only one light. Even if you don’t have any lights available, place your subject next to a window with diffused light coming through and use the reflector on the other side.

I shoot this pictures with a Canon 7D set to manual mode. the speed was set at 50th of a second (although I’d recommend 250th) I guess I was not paying enough attention when I did my set up shame on me 🙂  ISO for most pictures was set between 100 and 200 and for a few where I needed more light instead of cranking up the flash too much I gave the camera a way to go with a 400 ISO (that is one way to conserve a bit of batteries and get faster recycle times) not that is so important for still photography to have a fast recycle time anyway.

Here it are some of the pictures along with pictures of the set up.

Thanks for reading this and don’t hesitate to comment, ask questions of post your own experiences.

Regards,

Alex ELias

Close up of flowers.

The other day my wife got this flowers and the moment I saw them I thought, picture time. I took a whole bunch of pictures and although I liked them I was looking for something different with more punch, so I decided to change the back ground from solid to a white silk and light it from behind with a Canon 580 EX and Canon 430EXII flashes with a Canon 580EXII as the master. I went really close and shot some pictures with a Canon EF 50mm  1.4 at F5.6 ISO 200 Speed 100th . The flash mounted on the camera pointed to my back  (reversed the head) and put a reflective surface behind me to bounce some of the light as a fill for the flowers. And this is the result.

Thanks for looking

Alex Elias

Untitled-1

Flowers still life.

If you already spent $$$ on flowers get the most out of them. Make some one happy take some good pictures ( I forgot this time) while they are fresh and then take some more before they hit the inevitable trash can.

Here is the final product. The lens used for this picture was the Canon EF 100 mm 2.8 Macro at F4 Speed 125 and ISO 200. I use one Flash Canon 580EXII through a unbrella, so lighting was pretty simple as you can see.

Thanks for looking.

Alex Elias

IMG_5546

Macro Photography. Flowers

 

Now that  winter is arround the corner I’ll share some colorful close up of this flowers.

Thanks for looking

Alex Elias

 Orchid close up