Project prep: flowers and lighting


For my product project, I have been assigned the subject ‘flowers’. My presentation on a studio photographer will be Robert Mapplethorpe, particularly his work with flowers in relation to the human form and in isolation. Prep for the project coincided with the Orchid festival at Kew Gardens near my home. So I decided to take the opportunity to experiment with photographing orchids in the Princess Diana Conservatory, both at night, and in natural daylight. Also, I was trying out the different select tools in Photoshop in post-production.

Below is a selection of photographs from the festival taken at night. (I used a 50mm lens at 1.5 to get the rare bokeh effect on flowers in artificial light, and a micro lens for the detailed pix.)


Then I went back in daylight, to experiment with photographing the same flowers in natural as opposed to artificial light. In particular, it is interesting to note the different appearance of the pink orchids taken in artificial light, above, with the bokeh effect, and the exact same flowers in natural light in the conservatory. There is no question that flowers look best in natural light. So studio work presents particular challenges to capture their ethereal beauty.




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