Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It is finally Spring and I have an urge to create some of my own wildflower wall art. And since I am a geek and love to write tutorials, I am going to show you how I make flower "art" at my house using natural light, simple props that I have lying around, and textures.
I always invest
a lot of time and money setting up my custom flower art studio. Yeah right...
For this photo I wanted a dark-colored textured background, so I grabbed one of my husband's favorite shirts and placed it on the back of a wooden bench in front of the garage door. You can also duct tape any fabric on a wall for this type of shoot. I love using this area in front of my garage doors as my natural light studio because the light is always very even in the morning.
I needed a nice textured "table" for my shoot, so I found an old board in the garage, which I placed on top of my bench. You can use any interesting found item for a table top. I love aged wood and rusty metal.
Finally, I ran out to the ditch and picked a few flowers and placed them in a creamer pitcher. This pitcher I placed on my board, making sure to leave some distance between the background and the flowers so I could blur the background using a wide aperture.
Here is my fancy expensive set-up. Oh, I want to mention I locked up the cats and dog in the garage before attempting this shoot. The boys were watching out of the kitchen window and getting bored, so I had to do my entire shoot in under five minutes so my flower arranging skills are really horrible...
Here is a close-up of my vintage board.
Photographing the Flowers
I used my Canon EOS Rebel T2i and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens at 400 ISO (it was dark and cloudy this morning) and aperture priority mode and set the aperture at f3.2 (the camera picked 1/100 sec exposure). I had to play around with the aperture to find the best setting to keep my flowers focused but blur the background slightly. I keep it simple and use a semi-idiot mode (Av) and shoot .jpg in most cases.
Here is my unedited SOOC (straight-out-of-the-camera) image. Pretty dismal, but the flowers are in focus and the whites are not blown, so with some editing magic I can turn this into a piece of art.
On my next post I will show you how I went from the before and after in a few simple steps using textures in Photoshop and PSE. I will also link the textures I used in the tutorial and this SOOC flower image so you can edit along with me if you want.