Photography Tips & Techniques forum→Photographing a flower indoors

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AnnKNCalif
Mar 29, 2020 9:59 AM CST
When I first got my camera a year ago, I brought a rose indoors, put it in a vase and used a black bookshelf as a background. I deleted a ton of photos before I got this one which is just slightly adjusted for exposure. The black bookshelf is near a sliding glass door that's on the left side of the photo. You can see the holes on the right for shelf adjustment which I cropped out of the final. I had to figure out the right time of day to take the photo so the lighting wouldn't be so bad.

Thumb of 2020-03-29/AnnKNCalif/857a01

I used the bookshelf because I don't know Photoshop or how to achieve a black background that mimics taking a portrait in a studio. I personally don't like the studio portrait look and prefer a naturalistic background where the flower is seen in its normal habitat. However, I'd like to be able to take a portrait photo with a black background. My rose society put together a prop using a black cloth on a cardboard stand that's used for taking photos of the winning exhibition roses each year.

What are your suggestions?

Thank you,
Ann


Name: James
North Louisiana (Zone 8b)
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deepsouth
Mar 29, 2020 10:29 AM CST

for indoor photography - first - you will want to set the camera to what-ever type of light, that is lighting the scene ....
such as - sunlight, incandescent, fluorescent ....

be aware that not setting the camera to the type of light - incandescent light is yellowish orange ...and fluorescent is bluish green

next - backgrounds can be almost anything .... sheets, wide roll paper, color foam board ... foam board in various colors are available at most office supply stores ... roll paper in many teacher supply stores

wide roll paper & sheets provides a "vanishing background" ...and objects appear to "float"

I have a indoor photo table that i have 2 rolls of wide roll paper - one white the other blue ....on some projects I use foam boards: white, black and gray as a background / and sometimes a "surface" ...and sometimes a "reflector"

Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Mar 29, 2020 11:22 AM CST
If your goal is to achieve the studio portrait look--then enter the world of set-up to get exactly what you want, which is necessarily controlling all of the elements. What is the point of all the effort trying to 'mimic' the result when you could spend the effort to get the result?

Hilarious! My answer to that question is that it is too much of a hassle and not very much fun for me to mess around with backgrounds and artificial lighting so my goal is not to achieve the studio look.
Seriously though, for a rose portrait on a black background, I suggest you invest in a black background and start playing around with a few different methods of artificial lighting.

see here
https://garden.org/thread/view...
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Utah Bee Lover Garden Photography Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Mar 29, 2020 2:33 PM CST
I should add, it's not like I never try...
some plants do actually live indoors

bloom when it's winter and too cold to take them outside Hilarious!

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AnnKNCalif
Mar 29, 2020 5:50 PM CST
James - thanks for your tips! Do you have a photograph you can share with a black background from your indoor setup?

dirt - Thanks for your input! I liked your photo - the red, white, and black contrast is striking.

Does anyone use Photoshop to blacken out your backgrounds? If so, can you describe the steps you use typically?

Thanks,
Ann
Name: James
North Louisiana (Zone 8b)
Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Growing under artificial light Ferns Garden Photography
Region: Louisiana Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Critters Allowed Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Container Gardener
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deepsouth
Mar 29, 2020 6:11 PM CST
hey Ann ...I will look for some black backgrounds ...it may take awhile ....am sure none are plants

in PS .. its easier to remove the background completely, then picking black, white or a color from the "color picker" - then use the "paint bucket" to fill in over the removed background ...there is also a "burn" function, that works just like
an enlarger in a darkroom - without having an enlarger, or the chemicals needed to do the process
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William
Mar 30, 2020 9:33 AM CST

Moderator

If you have a nearly black background and want it completely black, you can easily adjust this in just about any RAW converter. Simply move the black point to get the desired effect.
If you shoot JPG then you can do the same with levels in any half decent photo editor.

If you need more control you can use a custom curve instead - either in your RAW converter or in any decent photo editor. I would recommend this method.

Burning like James suggest provides more control, although I much prefer to burn using curves on a separate adjustment layer because it is even better and much more flexible. Unlike the "burn" tool it offers total control over the effect. Change your mind? Too dark or too bright? Simply adjust the curves!

Just search for dodge burn with curves and you will find lots of tutorials. Smiling

Peonies Hummingbirder Dahlias Cat Lover Butterflies Bookworm
Bee Lover Region: California Birds Roses Garden Photography Photo Contest Winner 2018
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AnnKNCalif
Mar 30, 2020 6:59 PM CST
Thank you William! I will investigate the custom curve idea.

Ann
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Utah Bee Lover Garden Photography Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Photo Contest Winner 2018 Photo Contest Winner 2019 Photo Contest Winner 2020
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dirtdorphins
Mar 30, 2020 8:02 PM CST
AnnKNCalif said: - the red, white, and black contrast is striking.
Ann


Thanks Ann, it's really a dark green--that's a schefflera behind it that is really disguised--partly by distance and darkness and bokeh and partly by some editing experimentation with making it even darker and less distinct, but I don't really know what I did-- or how to do it again the same way

Can't answer photoshop questions because I don't have that.

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