Year Two (16) – Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day – a day for spending time with the people you love and the things you enjoy. The perfect icon image for Valentine’s day are roses, I was lucky enough to receive some, so it was time to take out my camera, set up a studio and have a go at some high key flower shots – my lens of choice was my Canon 24-70mm – my idea was to create a white background – and then experiment with depth of field using the zoom lens and the distance between the camera and the subject.

Valentines Roses - 47mm - ISO100, F6.3, 1/250sec
Valentines Roses – 47mm – ISO100, F6.3, 1/250sec

I had two off camera flashes – one to light the background and one to light the roses. Working in manual, once you have set up the lights for the studio situation – the lighting can remain constant as you move the camera within the space.  It was a challenge separating the white jug from the background – but in the shot above the green lengths seem to over power the delicate roses.

ISO100, 39mm, F6.3, 1/250sec
ISO100, 39mm, F6.3, 1/250sec

At a zoom length of 39mm and moving much cloer to the roses I can completely change the image – the shallow depth of field is clearly apparent, and it so important to focus more accurately – here I was using the live view focusing, zooming in and manually focusing as the subject was not going to move – at that level of zoom handholding I was amazed at the camera shake – so I switched to a tripod with a timed release.

Moving closer - 70mm - f6.3, 1/250sec, ISO100
Moving closer – 70mm – f6.3, 1/250sec, ISO100

Changing angle, moving away from the flowers and zooming in more and a different feel to the image and a very shallow depth of field again. I think this image would have been better if I had more separation between the roses and it really shows how perfect flowers matter.

- Enhancing the colour - ISO100, F6.3, 1/250sec - 35mm
– Enhancing the colour – ISO100, F6.3, 1/250sec – 35mm

Moving back and shooting wider I was able to shoot the whole jug, placed on the third the white jug balances out the green of the leaves and the small frame helps you define the whole image which I think is missing on the first shot. Traditionally Valentine roses are red, so a quite change with the hues and luminescence in Photoshop and I can change the colours.

A single rose - ISO100, F6.3, 1/250 sec, 45mm
A single rose – ISO100, F6.3, 1/250 sec, 45mm

A single rose is aa important as the whole bunch – so without changing the settings I moved the flower and lowered the camera to capture the beauty of the flower.

A single rose - ISO100, F6.3, 1/250 sec, 50mm
A single rose – ISO100, F6.3, 1/250 sec, 50mm

Changing angles and adding a reflective sheet of glass on top of the paper and you instantly have a reflection which addes more depth to the image. I think though I used slightly too much flash and the texture of the rose petals appears a little blown.

Finally as it is Valentine’s Day I added some photography friends who wanted to get close to the action and share a quote by Tim Walker – “Only photograph what you love” – at the moment I love creating images, trying out new skills and experimenting …  I kinda disagree with his quote – because if you only photograph what you love you might not push yourself out of your comfort zone – what do you think?

Should you only photograph the things you love?

Only photograph what you love
Only photograph what you love
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