Friday, February 15, 2008


I don't normally rate my local supermarket all that highly. I go there almost every day, and the shelves seem to invariably be missing an item or two that I need. Not yesterday, however. It was Valentine's Day, and the place was overflowing with an amazing assortment of cut flowers.

I couldn't resist these tulips for my wife, the patient one, or TPO as she is known in these pages. I gave them to her last night when she got home from work, and they were an instant hit.

They were still looking wonderful this morning, so, as is my wont, I decided to capture them for posterity. You know, one of those days when, in search of brownie points, I can say "Do you remember those tulips I gave you on Valentine's Day? This photo really shows them off, doesn't it?"

Making the image took a bit of setting up. I wanted them to look as natural as possible, but I needed to use flash. So it was out with the tripod and the flash guns and the wireless remote. Would you believe that I took over 50 shots testing lighting and composition? I was trying to get the sort of wrap-around lighting that you can only get with multiple flashes. It gives a proper three-dimensional look to the subject. I ended up with the main flash in front of and to the left of the flowers and bounced of the ceiling, and two rear flashes at 45 degrees either side of the flowers, aimed slightly down at them. I also had to fine-tune the output of the flashes to make the lighting nice and even with no hot spots. Hence the 50+ pictures.

I am pleased with the final result, though. The colour of the flowers is shown properly, and the light falls off nicely towards the bottom of the image where those stems start. The background is just a bare wall, actually white, but once again the light falls off, leaving the softer colour.

EXIF: Nikon D200; Nikkor 17-55 mm DX; ISO 200; 1/125 sec; f11.


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