Portrait of a rose of the McDonald’s variety


I have been back to work for almost a week now and since, I haven’t had the chance to shoot anything. I miss the Holidays during which I could complete a small photo project every day. As the lazy bum that I am, I decided to pick up a flower on my way home from work to take advantage of the fact that my studio lighting is already littering set up in my dining room. I picked a rose that reminded me of the McDonald’s livery, i.e. yellow with red highlights. As I got back home with the rose in my hand, my neighbour gave me a conspiratory look. I am quite sure that he thought somebody was getting lucky tonight…

To make the image above, I set up a single flash unit with a snoot attachment to shoot directly at the flower and used a reflector minimum light for the stem and leaves. I just got closer with the exact same set up for the B&W shot below.

I also wanted to take the obligatory straight on shot of the spiraling rose. It is actually much more difficult than I had envisioned as the mass of petals produce hard shadows everywhere. I kept on adding flashes around the camera so I ended up with 3 lights essentially almost forming a ring flash. I have a ring flash but it is not well-suited for close up photography as it is the camera that attaches to it, not the other way around. Because I used a fairly long telephoto lens, there is major perspective compression. The mass of leaves all lines up along the almost 2-foot long stem appear bunched together to form the background.

I am not quite done with the rose. I think I will use it for some focus stacking experiments during the weekend. I hope it will retain its beauty until then.



Equipment: Canon DSLR 5D Mk II, Sigma 180mm f/3.5 EX macro lens, RAW conversion using Lightroom 4.1

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