CoffeeShop Tutorial: Flower Art, Part 1 - The Studio

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.


Mom Photographer March 29, 2011 at 12:37 PM  

wow! that's so simple yet amazingly creative!!! thanks for the idea!

Janice March 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

Nice job there. love your tshirt studio ;)

cjdcathyd March 29, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

Wonderful, and very pretty.

created by Maria Dreyer March 29, 2011 at 12:55 PM  

~ very creative ~ I love frugal photographers.

Jody March 29, 2011 at 12:57 PM  

Absolutely gorgeous! You are just so creative and I look forward to the rest of your tutorial.

charlottes web March 29, 2011 at 1:17 PM  


I love it! You really can improvise and get some really nice results! Are those Texas Blue Bonnets from your field?

Rags to Riches Cat Rescue March 29, 2011 at 1:20 PM  

Love it!

Rita March 29, 2011 at 1:22 PM  

Hee hee, tshirt studio! Love it. ♥ And yes, those are my Texas Bluebonnets from our small field. They didn't do too well this year but they are still lovely.

hootnonny March 29, 2011 at 1:49 PM  

Too cool, Rita. I picked up an 88 cent linoleum tile that looks like marble from Lowes yesterday. Can't wait to try it.

AngelaB March 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM  

Just gorgeous. And what a great idea on the set up. I need to start thinking more creatively!

thatgirlblogs March 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM  

I hate when I can't blame my equipment, I have all that stuff except for your creativity.

Laura March 29, 2011 at 2:52 PM  

You are awesome! Just think you should know that! Thanks for all the creative ideas, tutorials & actions!

shannon March 29, 2011 at 3:32 PM  

Wow - that's great! I am looking forward to your next post. Thanks for sharing!

Nellie Foley March 29, 2011 at 4:29 PM  

GREAT idea! I'm definitely doing this. You rock!

Jennifer March 29, 2011 at 6:11 PM  

You are just soooo clever!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Christianna Pierce March 29, 2011 at 6:18 PM  

Rita, you are so clever! I love this creative approach to creating a studio. Thank you for sharing!

Susan I March 29, 2011 at 8:10 PM  

You are very talented. Thank you for so many tips and for sharing your expertise. You are my hero!!

Lori Decoite March 30, 2011 at 5:52 AM  

I am so glad you showed us how to do that and formaking it look kinda easy! Your tuts r terrific and u are not a geek you are generous : )!

cynthia gayle March 30, 2011 at 8:11 AM  

You are so much fun to read! I love that you see beauty in the simplist of things....Thanks so much Rita!

Kathleen March 30, 2011 at 11:43 AM  

Thanks for this great tip. It seems such an obvious thing to do now I know about it! I even have the exact same benches in my garden.

Maureen March 30, 2011 at 6:47 PM  

Rita rocks! Thanks for all the cool stuff you do. I love that shot of your whole setup, my stuff looks like that most of the time. I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one. :)

Back Porch Smiles March 30, 2011 at 8:39 PM  

Thank you very much!

CS Designs by Heather March 30, 2011 at 10:23 PM  

What a beautiful picture! I can't wait to try it out myself!

JBarone March 31, 2011 at 9:53 AM  

Loved this idea I featured you on my blog THANKS for posting!

Bex March 31, 2011 at 3:28 PM  

Look kids, Blue Bonnets! (That's what we say in the car - about every 2.5 minutes)

Anonymous April 2, 2011 at 7:12 AM  

So very impressive! I loved reading this and thank you. I'm wondering if you used a tripod or hand held?

Content in a Cottage April 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM  

I think the light in front of my garage doors has perfect light too. I'm going to rig up something nice and high so I won't even have to bend over. Can't wait for Part II. Thanks for the lesson so far.