Photo Monday – Moody Flowers

Those moody portraits from two weeks ago made me want to try the dramatic lighting again. I bought a big bouquet Saturday morning to serve as a subject. Yesterday morning was rainy and dark. I was afraid I wouldn’t have anywhere near sufficient natural light and I was pretty sure my flash wouldn’t help me get the results I wanted. I gave it a shot anyway and the sky got brighter as I worked. Still cloudy but fine for my purposes. I put the flowers on our dining room table, close to the window. That side of the apartment only gets sunlight in the morning so even if it isn’t cloudy, the light I get is like the one I had for those portraits. Diffuse and directional.

I thought of setting up a black background but got lazy. The back wall doesn’t get the light from the window. It’s painted white but the lack of light makes it look dark enough.

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I started with my wide angle lens. My 50mm lens likes some distance to focus whereas the wide angle can be used from quite close. Even though it only goes to 40mm, since I can get closer, it works better than the 50mm.

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After at least a couple dozen pictures, I switched to my macro lens. At 100mm, I can get nicely magnified images and I can step back from the subject a lot and still get a great close up. The problem with it is that it prefers a tripod. I need a really fast shutter speed to avoid shake. After a few wonky pictures in aperture priority mode, I decided to give manual mode a try. I set my shutter speed and aperture to get the focus I wanted, knowing the picture would end up darker. I did quite a bit of brightening in post process. The one thing I’m not crazy about is the graininess of the images. I was at ISO1600 which is higher than I prefer (I don’t like to go over ISO800).

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These two were taken in front of a mirror.

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I tried to get a picture that would show the mirror itself. It’s beautiful. But let’s just say the dining room has only ever been messier during the actual kitchen renovations. Focusing on the mirror showed everything I was trying to keep hidden. Maybe I’ll get it some day…

Creative mommy at home to two wonderful little girls, trying to juggle family, sewing, exercise, family, knitting, photography, and did I mention family?

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Posted in Photo Monday

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