Ghetto Flower Setup

Ghetto Flower SetupA few weeks ago I stumbled across Sandra Freeman‘s photography site. I was captured by her stunning life-like flower images. I then asked Sandra to share her photography ideas with DIYP readers.

Gladly for us, she agreed.

I was surprised to learn that Sandra is using nothing but one window as light source, and nothing but black fabric and some foam core board as studio. Then again, Sandra shows us all that there is no need for fancy studio equipment to take great shots – all you need is good brains. Just like the Spraying Flowers tip, it can not get any simpler.

There are three elements to my photography

The first is finding some organic object that has movement (gesture) or texture that calls to me.

The second element (and perhaps the most important) is a large (88” x 59”) window that affords beautiful Northeastern light for most of the day.

The third element is the simple set up that I use.

The Setup

Home Photography - Ghetto Flower Setup
I use a 36” x 48” piece of white foam core with folds at 12” and 36”.

The u-shaped fore core allows me to support a background cloth (usually my large back cashmere throw). The foam core holds the background and provides a definition for my working area on top of my dining room table.

The only other items I need are my tripod; a midlevel digital camera (Fuji S3 Pro with Nikon 60mm Micro lens) and an occasional reflective card to bounce fill light. I am not concerned with lighting ratios or sophisticated metering techniques. My camera is set on manual. I often times have to shield my eyes from the window to see the light on my subject.

I have the advantage of the light changing subtly throughout the day. Some would consider this a limitation. However, I see this as an advantage. Since I use no electronic flash, long exposures and small apertures require a bit of patience.

Here is my setup with the final ingredient

Home Photography - Ghetto Flower Setup

Impressed? Check out Sandra’s site for more great flower shots taken with this setup.