My wife has several flowers around the yard, and this week the first batch of lilies bloomed.  I decided to take some photos of them, but really wanted the background to be dark in relation to the flowers themselves.  To do this, I knew I had to use a flash to allow proper exposure on the flowers, but knock down the ambient exposure around them.  After several versions, I found I liked the backgrounds completely blacked out, as this allowed the bright color of the flowers to pop.

During the setup and shoot, I realized that I couldn’t get both flowers in focus in a single image, even if I closed down the aperture to its smallest at f/22.  To overcome this, I took 2 images, one of each flower manually focused.  Then I took both images into Photoshop, and layered in the 2nd flower, allowing both flowers to be in focus in the final image.

The setup was fairly simple, I setup my flash with a 24″ softbox 12″-18″ away from the flowers, mimicking the angle and direction of the setting sun.   Found my composition, then set the tripod up and attached the camera.  Manually focused using Live View zoomed in 10x and made the exposures.

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Duluth Sunrise

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to Duluth for a few days of hiking and relaxation.  The weather was rain one day and nice the rest.  The second morning there I ran down to Canal Park for sunrise images.  It was a pretty quiet morning, very few people out around the lighthouse.  But the seagulls were everywhere, as usual.  A few of them rested on the streetlamps leading to the lighthouse, and I was able to silhouette them against the brightening sky.

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Mini Badge

I was able to spend a little time today photographing some of the details on my car.  It is a Mini Cooper, and I have always liked the simplicity of the Mini Badge.  I quickly locked onto the composition, as I liked how the lines of the grill added some light and angled lines to the image.  My problems was with the flash.  After struggling with using direct flash in a stripbox, I decided to add the grid, and bounce it off the ceiling of the garage.  This gave a nice indirect, soft light source, but kept the light pattern a little thin, allowing it to fall off quickly.  It took me a few shots to get it set properly, but once it was set, I was happy with the final results.

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