As with everybody, we find ourselves with a great deal of spare time as we try to self isolate during the coronavirus pandemic. As someone in a creative industry, I was looking for someway to keep me in touch with my creativity. Inspired by the work of John Blakemore and Clive Nichols, I rescued some daffodils I had been given that had began to wilt and dry out from the bin and began to photograph them.
Having already set up a small table top set up in my office come studio. In this case, the background, a white bed sheet was supported using two Manfrotto Autopoles and an extending background pole. The sheet was held in place by various clamps bought from B&Q. The lighting was provided by three Nikon SB5000 Speedlight’s linked and triggered by the Nikon transmitter, WR-10 and WR-A10. I positioned one overhead in a Manfrotto Hotrod strip soft box mounted an an Avenger ‘C’ stand. Another to the left, in a Manfrotto ‘Ezybox’ softbox on a compact stand. The final flash was placed behind the background to provide background illumination and make sure the background burnt out in the images. For good measure a Lastolite reflector was placed on the left.
I used my 105mm Nikon macro lens to explore the colour and texture of the flowers in extreme close up. Using a shallow depth of field I was able to create soft almost watercolour effects by placing some of the flowers up against the lens or shooting through the flowers to create the images. It is quite remarkable what you see as you move closer and closer to a flower. Once you have everything set up, the exposure and speed light settings don’t change so you can change you angle of view, background or add filters to the Speedlight’s easily.
You can see some of the results here on this website or on my social media pages (the links are next to this blog, on the left). Alternately, you can purchase some of the images via my shop here on this website.
For me, flower photography, especially in the studio allows me to slow down and relax. It is almost therapeutic, allowing you just to follow your instincts as you discover differing angle’s, textures or patterns. It is a catharsis from my usual photograph, editorial and sport.