Many weeks late but I have finally got started on assignment 4! A pot of orchids is my chosen subject and I started with lots of ideas on how I would photograph them, some showing the whole stem and others in close up but it hasn’t quite gone according to plan. For a start I had intended using studio flash but the first few attempts were dire. Bearing in mind that it is dark outside, do I leave the room lights on and lose the effect of the flash, or turn them off and just use the flash? I had assumed the latter but find that the flash itself does not seem to be strong enough and most of my images came out almost black, even with very long shutter speeds although that seems to me to defeat the object because they will only get the light from the flash for that split second that the flash fires. I have tried moving the light stands closer to the subject, adjusting the umbrella etc, etc but with little effect. Are these units best used when there is some daylight in the room? Not sure but will try that too.
Back to the desk lamp then, not ideal but I have managed to get some better results; diffused through the back of my table top studio stand, lit from above with a silver reflector beneath the subject some shots from one side with a reflector on the other. I also experimented with some small tea light candles as the only source of lighting and that produced some interesting effects until it became too hot for the flower and one of the blooms collapsed. Just as well I’ve got most of the images using the whole flower stem! Those taken using the candles as lighting proved interesting because I had no idea which white balance setting to use so it was a case of experimenting and seeing which worked best.