May 9, 2012

Elegant Portrait Style Flower Photography Fine Art


In recent months I explored black cardboard as the backdrop for my flower photography. Dark backgrounds really make the colors of a flower pop and give the image a touch of elegance. Usually I choose a large enough black cardboard that I position behind the floral photographic object using the backrest of a chair for support. As a base I use the chair itself that I place in front of a window. The set up of my Macro Photography studio next to our dining room window provides exceptional and beautiful lighting conditions in the morning. White cardboards are used to enhance the light and direct the light towards the floral when it is facing away from the window. I always use a few hardcover books to stabilize and adjust the height of the flower for an optimal set up and best lighting  impact. I often adjust the white boards to explore the impact on the lighting and better control the light on the flower. Adjusting the light with the white boards is a great learning experience for us photographers and often leads to more inspiring and beautiful fine art photography artwork. There are certain positions when the white cardboard unleashes maximum impact and it is our job to explore the best impact by rearranging and adjusting the boards in different angels or slants. At small apertures (high f-stop numbers like f/16 and up) combined with low ISO settings (ISO100 and less) longer exposure times become evident and require the use of a Tripod. I always prefer the use of a tripod because it slows down the photographic process benefiting composition and image quality. Landscape versus Portrait Format is one of the first decisions we make when taking a picture and sometimes a picture works in both formats. That is not always the case and then we have to decide on the best format to support the strongest composition.

Backlighting provides beautiful illumination of flowers that keeps the viewer captivated. In these portrait style flower photographs the apertures were set between f/8 and f/32 providing maximum Depth of Field and long exposure times of 1 - 20 seconds. In the post processing steps I removed dust, minimally adjusted brightness, contrast and color saturation before sharpening the final images.