Thursday, January 24, 2008

I got me a flash unit!

I have the privilege of taking the photos at my sisters wedding next year and after some consultation with some photography friends, it became apparent that a powerful external flash unit is an absolute must! So having scraped some pennies together over Christmas, I decided to take the plunge and bought on EBay a brand new Canon speedlite 580EX II.
I haven't yet really had the chance to use it much but am planning to do some portrait work soon (if my work and study let up!).

Does anyone have any useful tips they can give me? I really am a novice when it comes to using a flash unit!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Playing with sweets!

I was in a longish meeting at work on friday and I got a bit bored as much of what was being discussed didn't directly effect me. We had a tin of quality streets on the table and we were happily munching through them! As my mind wondered I thought these wrappers might be a challenge to make into an interesting photo.

I pocketed a range of colours and had a go at photographing them at home. It was a lot harder than I first thought it would be. I got two nice photos in the end. The one above and another on my flickr account.

This image above I particularly like as its not immediately obvious what it is! My wife thought it represented a rose, I thought at first it looked quite like a rough cut jewel or piece of glass.

In Lightroom, I overexposed the image slightly and increased the colour saturation to make the image stand out as much as possible.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Single light on white tulip

I thought I would try my hand at taking a photo of a flower in a dark room with a single light source. I used a piece of black card stuck to a wall and put single tulip into a vase about 0.5m in front of it. Using a small desk lamp set about 1m away to the right, I switched off the room light and began taking photos from my camera set on a tripod.
I was at first amazed at how difficult it was to get the back drop plain black without any reflection from the light. I need to invest in some black cloth methinks!

Then my next challenge was to try and get the light coming in at the right direction to light up the tulip enough but to leave some of it in shadow. I experimented with a sheet of white paper as a reflector to get a more even lighting on the subject, ideal for portrait photography. The end result was a very flat looking image so I abandoned that idea!

I also toyed around with the aperture settings to try and get as much in focus without losing the fuzzy background I wanted.

Post processing was easy. In Lightroom I simply boosted the blacks and contrast a little. That was it!
So what do you think? Do you have any improvement suggestions? I appreciate all comments.