Tuesday, March 29, 2011

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.

Studio

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.

27 comments:

Mom Photographer said...

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

Janice said...

Nice job there. love your tshirt studio ;)

cjdcathyd said...

Wonderful, and very pretty.

created by Maria Dreyer said...

~ very creative ~ I love frugal photographers.

Jody said...

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

charlottes web said...

Rita,

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 said...

Love it!

Rita said...

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 said...

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 said...

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

thatgirlblogs said...

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

Laura said...

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

shannon said...

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

Nellie Foley said...

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

Jennifer said...

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

Christianna Pierce said...

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

Susan I said...

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

Lori Decoite said...

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 said...

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

Kathleen said...

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 said...

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 said...

Thank you very much!

CS Designs by Heather said...

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

JBarone said...

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

Bex said...

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

Anonymous said...

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 said...

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.
Rosemary