Something Big and Nice

November 12, 2014  •  1 Comment

My daughter Anna recently asked me to make some prints for her to hang in the living room of her apartment. She is a junior at the University of MN and lives with four other girls. When I asked her for some ideas she just said something like, “Something big and nice.” Well, that certainly narrows it down doesn’t it! 

I gave some thought to landscapes or images of some interesting area landmarks. Then I realized she has spent more of her life in Minnesota than Wisconsin so maybe a couple city-scape shots of Twin Cities landmarks or the Minneapolis skyline. 

Jean and I were in New York City this past weekend and while visiting some galleries I came upon the idea for flowers in isolation against a black backdrop. Ran out to a local flower store and picked up a few Lilies and went to work. Here are a couple of samples. I think they turned out pretty nice.

Ok Anna, it has been decided. I am going to work on getting you some poster sized prints along these lines. I hope you and your roommates like them!



Greg Burneske(non-registered)
I have been asked how much processing I did in Photoshop to get the colors to pop like that. The answer is none. I just used a lot of flash at close range -- so much light that the light is passing through the petals and creating a kind of surreal glow. There was so much light that even though I had the lens stopped down as far as it would go, shutter speeds were in the 1/250 range.

Besides lighting, the essential challenge in close-up photography like this is that when you are working this close it is difficult to get everything in focus AND have the subject fill the entire frame. Easy to have the flower fill the frame -- just zoom in and/or move the camera closer to the subject. But the closer you get, the more difficult it is to get the front petals and the back petals to be in focus. Easy to get everything in focus -- just move back, stop the lens down until depth of field exceeds the front to back depth of the flower. With the setup I used for these shots I am on the edge of focus from front to back and the flower pretty much fills the whole frame. I could not make the flower any bigger without losing more focus. Of course the I had the lens stopped down as much as possible (f22 or f40 depending on the lens I was using).
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