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Thread: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

  1. #21

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    People are just telling you what you are saying is incorrect.
    What I was suggesting initially was an alternative lighting placement. What you have since turned this into is an argument about terminology.
    Surely, you can not miss how the course of discussion has de-volved into OT?

    If you cannot stand to be corrected,
    Perhaps, you could show me how as you fail to admit that you misjudged a side-lit portrait as a top-lit one and went on a rant about that.

  2. #22
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by san2001 View Post
    What I was suggesting initially was an alternative lighting placement. What you have since turned this into is an argument about terminology.
    Surely, you can not miss how the course of discussion has de-volved into OT?



    Perhaps, you could show me how as you fail to admit that you misjudged a side-lit portrait as a top-lit one and went on a rant about that.
    I have said very clearly why I have to come out and correct inaccurate advice.

    As for your side lit portrait, I just said it was very badly executed. because one glimpse of it, and i did not have any desire to look at it more. why would I want to analyze it. And I did not go on a rant. I just said it short and sweet, that "it is badly done."

    And take this offline. I welcome your PM. I already said, let's get back on topic once. Don't think I want to say it again.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 21st January 2013 at 11:55 AM.

  3. #23

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    hi friends and seniors. thanks for your input

    I certainly did not expect to spark such animated discussion over lighting techniques.

    thank you to san2000 for bringing up butterfly lighting techniques, although I am not sure if it is suitable for non portrait shooting. from what I read butterfly lighting aka Hollywood style about the distinctive shadows over the subject upper lip, as uncle Ben mentioned

    flower no upper lip. hee. also I am limited by my equipment. no budget. also I am kind of curious how I may actually place a reflector. since I don't have any, or an assistant to hold for me.
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  4. #24

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    hi friends and seniors. thanks for your input

    I certainly did not expect to spark such animated discussion over lighting techniques.

    thank you to san2000 for bringing up butterfly lighting techniques, although I am not sure if it is suitable for non portrait shooting. from what I read butterfly lighting aka Hollywood style about the distinctive shadows over the subject upper lip, as uncle Ben mentioned

    flower no upper lip. hee. also I am limited by my equipment. no budget. also I am kind of curious how I may actually place a reflector. since I don't have any, or an assistant to hold for me.

    U can buy foam board from book shop. less than 1 dollar.

  5. #25

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninth View Post
    U can buy foam board from book shop. less than 1 dollar.
    i wish i can buy an assistant too
    thanks for suggest. will look into it .
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  6. #26

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    There's all sorts of DIY you can do to prop up a foamcore board without an assistant. Simple things like resting it against a chair, for instance.

    Now that I think about it, Digitalrev did a video on doing product photography for cheap. Perhaps, that could help you. They used continuous lights in it IIRC, but you can use the same principles with your speedlight+ umbrella and reflector too.

    Guide on how to do product photography on the cheap - YouTube

  7. #27

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    thanks for this tip. i will certainly look into it.
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  8. #28
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    Clubsnap have zero tolerance on name calling on any of the admins or mods, be it openly or in private messages, such act is considered challenging the whole admins and mods team.

    san2001 has been deregistered.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    wow, really learned a lot from this thread.

    I am also interested in learning studio lighting and portraiture/product shot.
    Intend to enrol in a short course on this.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    Senior Foxtwo, thanks for taking the time for your input.

    I did get rid of the cow grass and impromptu unplanned shooting, deliberately selecting and putting up a white background for less distraction.

    Subject is flowers as I shoot hand bouquet on frequent basis for Qc and verifying purpose before passing to client or secondary tier vendor.

    lighting setup. I chose to use a shoot through umbrella to diffuse the light more and make a nice and gentle light source compared to the previous attempt where the handheld flash was producing hard light.

    while you may justifiably feel that the attempt isn't much better, I do feel that this time around it isn't from lack of effort.

    do share with me how I may improve in areas I had fallen short. kindly do not suggest another subject matter to shoot other than flowers
    You say you got rid of unplanned shooting but why I'm harsher now then before is because I see this being just as unplanned. I don't see any difference in planning now versus previously. You may think it's a completely different shoot because of location but to me it's the same if not worst. Where did you challenge yourself? Where were your limits pushed? You remove the pressure of 5mins but you also removed the pressure completely.

    Just compare these google images. All the time to plan... you think about it and ask whether you should expect more from yourself.

    Props & Background: Based on the two images (previously and presently) the client is pretty free with your choice of props and bg. As such I don't get why you shrink from being creative (previously) to being boring. The basket is just like the vase, poor prop choice. Again, why do you need to shoot with the "holder" so prominently? Why don't you just minimise the framing of the "holder" as much as possible so the focus is entirely on the subject? Even with a clear glass vase if framed properly you don't need to worry much because again, what is the hero? Do you need to sacrifice lighting the flowers properly just to make sure the vase looks good?

    Background, white is okay but remember, as a photographer you want to maintain a certain consistency with your images for the sake of your client and for your portfolio. Look at how your client is using the images, is it a website or printed catalogue, is there a coloured theme involved? Can the client benefit from using a colour other than white? A complimentary colour or light pastel to contrast against subject? Compare the colour against your client's commonly coloured items, so as to prevent or minimise clashing.

    White is a very clinical colour. Most clients want a white background because they want to use the images simply for catalogue. If a client told me bg colour is up to me, I would choose to mix it up if the product was suitable. Flowers are suitable. They are alive and not some boxed packaging. A2/A3 coloured paper is not expensive, around $2+ per piece. Go Art Friend and pick out a few pieces of different colours. If these 2 lessons have taught you anything, it's that props & bg do matter and the choice is extremely important even when they're not the main subject. 3rd time round, are you going to think "lowest budget" again? I hope not...

    Composition: I don't see why you need to consistently present the subject with a full length shot. Is it a requirement by the client? If not, why don't you be more creative? Tell me, if you're using instagram, how would you compose the image with a square crop? How would you light it without flash?

    Lighting: Always take care of the subject first. If all you have are 2 lights then please use both for subject. Try to place the umbrella overhead as a main/fill light, then use the other flash as a key light. The main/fill is to take care of subject and bg, a flat lighting. Key light is to add a bit of punch. Cut a piece of cardboard and wrap it around the flash to create a snoot which allows you to direct the light and minimise spill. You can also mix ambient (window light) in to help with bg. Why do you need quick recycle with still life?

    The umbrella might not light the bg sufficiently to make it completely white, especially the upper half (depending on composition). Just do some post processing there. I usually etch out for white bg. Don't moan unless you've also etched 20+ bicycles, wheel spokes included, at one sitting.


    You really should be shooting the hell out of it. Experiment, experiment, experiment. Setup your own brief if you feel you lack direction. Give yourself a time limit if you want a challenge. Shoot, take a breather, come back and shoot again. Talk to it, sleep with it, chop it up. Live and breathe it. Do you know your product? Ask your family and friends, what are flowers to them? Ask yourself, what are flowers to you? What is it you want to say? What should it say? Why are you having trouble portraying this subject. Self-analyse.

    OR don't over think it at all, just use your instincts. Walk up, compose and shoot it. Review or don't review. Take a breather, come back to it, repeat repeat repeat. End of day review.

    One way or another, if you're intent on shooting product or still life, you have to make it work for you. Don't kid yourself by saying not pro shooter or what. If you're going to be serious about improving then treat it seriously. Hope sincerely to see a picture that wows and leaves me nothing but "good shot" 3rd time round.
    Last edited by foxtwo; 22nd January 2013 at 02:28 PM.

  11. #31

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by foxtwo View Post
    You say you got rid of unplanned shooting but why I'm harsher now then before is because I see this being just as unplanned. I don't see any difference in planning now versus previously. You may think it's a completely different shoot because of location but to me it's the same if not worst. Where did you challenge yourself? Where were your limits pushed? You remove the pressure of 5mins but you also removed the pressure completely.

    Just compare these google images. All the time to plan... you think about it and ask whether you should expect more from yourself.

    Props & Background: Based on the two images (previously and presently) the client is pretty free with your choice of props and bg. As such I don't get why you shrink from being creative (previously) to being boring. The basket is just like the vase, poor prop choice. Again, why do you need to shoot with the "holder" so prominently? Why don't you just minimise the framing of the "holder" as much as possible so the focus is entirely on the subject? Even with a clear glass vase if framed properly you don't need to worry much because again, what is the hero? Do you need to sacrifice lighting the flowers properly just to make sure the vase looks good?

    Background, white is okay but remember, as a photographer you want to maintain a certain consistency with your images for the sake of your client and for your portfolio. Look at how your client is using the images, is it a website or printed catalogue, is there a coloured theme involved? Can the client benefit from using a colour other than white? A complimentary colour or light pastel to contrast against subject? Compare the colour against your client's commonly coloured items, so as to prevent or minimise clashing.

    White is a very clinical colour. Most clients want a white background because they want to use the images simply for catalogue. If a client told me bg colour is up to me, I would choose to mix it up if the product was suitable. Flowers are suitable. They are alive and not some boxed packaging. A2/A3 coloured paper is not expensive, around $2+ per piece. Go Art Friend and pick out a few pieces of different colours. If these 2 lessons have taught you anything, it's that props & bg do matter and the choice is extremely important even when they're not the main subject. 3rd time round, are you going to think "lowest budget" again? I hope not...

    Composition: I don't see why you need to consistently present the subject with a full length shot. Is it a requirement by the client? If not, why don't you be more creative? Tell me, if you're using instagram, how would you compose the image with a square crop? How would you light it without flash?

    Lighting: Always take care of the subject first. If all you have are 2 lights then please use both for subject. Try to place the umbrella overhead as a main/fill light, then use the other flash as a key light. The main/fill is to take care of subject and bg, a flat lighting. Key light is to add a bit of punch. Cut a piece of cardboard and wrap it around the flash to create a snoot which allows you to direct the light and minimise spill. You can also mix ambient (window light) in to help with bg. Why do you need quick recycle with still life?

    The umbrella might not light the bg sufficiently to make it completely white, especially the upper half (depending on composition). Just do some post processing there. I usually etch out for white bg. Don't moan unless you've also etched 20+ bicycles, wheel spokes included, at one sitting.


    You really should be shooting the hell out of it. Experiment, experiment, experiment. Setup your own brief if you feel you lack direction. Give yourself a time limit if you want a challenge. Shoot, take a breather, come back and shoot again. Talk to it, sleep with it, chop it up. Live and breathe it. Do you know your product? Ask your family and friends, what are flowers to them? Ask yourself, what are flowers to you? What is it you want to say? What should it say? Why are you having trouble portraying this subject. Self-analyse.

    OR don't over think it at all, just use your instincts. Walk up, compose and shoot it. Review or don't review. Take a breather, come back to it, repeat repeat repeat. End of day review.

    One way or another, if you're intent on shooting product or still life, you have to make it work for you. Don't kid yourself by saying not pro shooter or what. If you're going to be serious about improving then treat it seriously. Hope sincerely to see a picture that wows and leaves me nothing but "good shot" 3rd time round.
    Thanks for your tips! I am simultaneously humbled and honored. Good advice is hard to come by
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  12. #32
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    [...]
    b. Maybe, composition and placement[...]
    I think the flowers are pretty.
    Orientation of the flowers maybe slightly off.
    In addition to the excellent comments already given:
    You think already that "maybe composition is off" - then don't publish but read follow this train of thought. To me, it's completely off. If you want to show the beauty of flowers then show it straight on. Count how many roses are visible: 3, maybe 4, the rest is half hidden and only seen from the side. How many cones are fully visible: 3. Are the flowers really your main subject?
    Put aside your camera. Hold the flowers in your hand in different angles till you find a position or angle that looks good. Once you got this, then think about how to hold / fix the flowers this way for shooting etc. The camera is the last piece of equipment to worry about.
    EOS

  13. #33

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    in all fairness to the composition, i did state in the first post that there is a requirement to display the knotted ribbon wrap as the knots are part of the distinctive look of the bouquet.

    i found it hard to both showcase the flowers and the knots . i will try Senior Octarine excellent suggestion to find best angle.

    thank you for your input
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  14. #34
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    not sure you want to do it as a catalogue style or a still life study style?

    both are different,

    for catalogue style, you are recording a product, recording the product accurately is the key thing, usually background is secondary and props is minimum.

    for a still life study, you are focusing more on mood, have lots of shadows in the frame, highlight only certain area, playing more on balancing of visual composition, to make your subject blend well with the background to create harmony.



    so set your goal clearly, than you will able to execute the shoot better.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  15. #35

    Default Re: "Strobist" newbie re-do - Bouquet of Flowers

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    not sure you want to do it as a catalogue style or a still life study style?

    both are different,

    for catalogue style, you are recording a product, recording the product accurately is the key thing, usually background is secondary and props is minimum.

    for a still life study, you are focusing more on mood, have lots of shadows in the frame, highlight only certain area, playing more on balancing of visual composition, to make your subject blend well with the background to create harmony.



    so set your goal clearly, than you will able to execute the shoot better.
    Hi Uncle Ben

    Thanks for your advice. I had not thought of approaching it in what style (which is why I am a newbie . I'll work on that I promise)
    I think perhaps when I started shooting this shoot it was probably for the purpose of catalogue - so potential clients (who want to buy flowers, not photographic clients) are able to see what kind of style the florist works with.

    I will bear the goals in mind for the next shoot.

    Thank you for invaluable advice Uncle Ben
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

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