Nature Photography – Cheat a Little

I may as well admit it. I like to cheat every once in a while. I hate changing lenses and setting up my remote flash gear just to get a quick indoors shot of something interesting, like the flowers my daughter bought for my wife’s birthday. So I cheat a little by borrowing a tip from Scott Kelby‘s The Digital Photography Book on shooting flowers against a black background using a zoom lens and natural light.

The lighting was provided by three windows facing the kitchen table in our breakfast nook and diffused by the white-painted wooden blinds. The vase and flowers were sitting in the middle of the table on a stack of books about three feet from my tripod mounted EOS 50D. My daughter was holding my navy sport coat about five feet in back of the tulips, which made a perfect black background for these shots. I manually focused on the center of the one tulip facing the camera, set the exposure compensation at -1 EV and voila! For a little more fun I had my daughter spray the tulips with a little water for a nice “morning dew” effect.

Tulips

Tulips
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 50D set on aperture priority (Av), using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 105mm, f/4 for 1/15th of a second at ISO 100 on Lexar Professional UDMA digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Dew on Tulips

Dew on Tulips
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 50D set on aperture priority (Av), using an EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 105mm, f/4 for 1/15th of a second at ISO 100 on Lexar Professional UDMA digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

6 thoughts on “Nature Photography – Cheat a Little

  1. The photo comments say “hand-held” yet you mention a tripod mounted EOS 50D. Have I missed something?

  2. Wonderful tip about the dark backgound. It really makes the colors in the flowers “POP”. Beautiful image!

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