Sunday, July 12, 2009

"What the hell is that guy doing?"

This must have been the question going through a few peoples' heads as I went about my business taking some shots in the flower garden here at the park. I'm not a Flower Guy, but I wanted to experiment and seemed like a good time with no wind and bright sunlight.

Bright sunlight good for flower shots?

Before heading out I picked up a nifty light modifier - a 39" diameter 5-in-1 disk that folds down to the size of a medium pizza. Its main structure is a big diffuser, with a removable/reversable skin with four surfaces including white, silver, gold, and black. Together you have a lot of options in controlling light. In this instance: a) the diffuser softened the harsh afternoon sunlight, and b) the skin acted as a reflector to illuminate the underside of the flowers in question.

With the camera on a tripod and everything composed, I simply held the shutter release cable with one hand and the diffuser over the flowers in another. Softened bright sunlight lit up the tops of the flowers, with fill coming in from below courtesy of the skin. Worked great.

By way of example, below shows a scene first without any diffusion or reflection (just raw, hard, afternoon sun) compared to the same shot with the diffuser above and reflective skin below.

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