Flower photography indoors

Hi everyone, This morning, I received a spectacular bunch of orchids from one of our daughters, L. So I thought I’d have a go at photographing them while they were fresh and at their loveliest. Below is a very simple set-up I use at home for taking flower photos indoors – I use the same (without the background art cards) for photographing food also. The windows are North-facing, and the sky was slightly cloudy – both ideal for giving soft lighting to the flowers. I use several types of simple reflector to reduce any shadows, and to boost the lighting somewhat.

I usually use a tripod and set the camera to a two-second timer delay. I use the latter a lot when out and about, to minimise camera/hand shake. I always shoot in RAW now, so I can tweak the exposure, etc,. in Lightroom or Photoshop. I usually use the Cloudy white balance setting for my pics, as I like the warm Kodachrome-like look.

Another thing I do is to turn the exposure compensation down one or two notches. This makes all my RAW images
look darker, which helps me expose for the highlights – otherwise these can easily be burnt out. In Lightroom or in
Photoshop, you can then tweak the exposure / shadow settings to your taste. In LR, you can also use the graduated
filter to darken the sky slightly or lighten the foreground – this saves you the bother of taking filters with you on
camera shoots / messing about in Photoshop combining two or more images taken with different exposure settings.
LR is brilliant – it saves you a huge amount of time and expense.

Another wonderful feature of LR is the adjustment brush – which you can pre-load with anything you like – a
different exposure, contrast, sharpness, colour, etc., which you can then brush onto your image. You can then
have another go, using
different brush settings.

By the way, if you’re taking photos of anything white – white swans, white statues & white paper with any text
or painting on it, turn your exposure compensation up by one or two notches. All digital cameras are set to
photograph white as grey, as most of you will know, so whiten your whites by upping the exposure compensation
on your camera.

I use two Canon cameras: the G15 (which is great for taking abroad on holiday, as we fly with hand lugggage only) and the 5D Mark 2, which takes even better photos.

So here is my state-of-the-art studio set-up …

Home studio

My studio at home

My Lightroom 5 settings, following the style of Serge Ramelli, the brilliant French photographer …

Lightroom 5 interface

Tweaking the RAW image in Lightroom 5.

Here’s my best photo – though not necessarily the best flower arrangement 🙂

Orchids

Orchids

Here’s a link to Serge’s YouTube tutorial page, where you’ll find lots of useful tips for taking photographs, and how to use Lightroom (and Photoshop also) … https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJ6FIlZVNbQOYg4WXQN7ZpYK3FEH1GVco

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