Yesterday was a tad challenging! After a 3 hr photo shoot in my newly set up downstairs studio, I put the sd card on mouse pad by the desktop before going to the gym to stretch.
The macro R1C1 flash set up, part of the Nikon Creative Lighting System, provides the perfect portable solution to make detailed macro photos shine. This macro lighting unit is a great tool for precise food & botanical photography. The twin flash heads dramatically light culinary ingredients and complex floral details.
As a professional photographer, one must be very concerned about light. The variable are numerous and complex. It’s wonderful to be able to develop a “lighting style” that is appealing and recognizable.
I prefer photos to be in sharp focus which requires a small f stop – f11 or higher. This small opening, combined with the length of the lens and subject to camera distance dramatically reduces the available light so it makes sense for me to add light – not bump up the iso too high. These strobes are great – literally small light boxes, attached to a ring which sits at the end of the lens. The lighting style is very contoured. A wireless transmitter allows me to adjust the individual output.
Some more info about the unit from the Nikon site:
People are typically curious abut this unit which adds a bit of substance to my camera’s footprint. I really enjoy taking the time to explain how this system works!!! From what I understand, the unit was originally developed for dental photography. I always shoot with my 105mm Nikon micro. If, for example, I am using the 85mm Nikon portrait lens, the R1C1 does not provide enough light. We are talking close.
Currently there is a Chihuly exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens. Most of the photos I’ve noticed on NYBG’s FLICKR Group provide a broader point of view. The photos above are fragraments of a blade of green glass from the Chihuly show.
A while back I read a very interesting blog post from the New York Botanical Gardens. The author talked about a moss/fern spore that was used to make flash powder for view cameras in “the days of old.” Such an amazing connection between plants and photography.
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Right off the top of my head: preference, point of view, pose, practice, process and purpose. Surely one can think of many more.
This photo was shortlisted at IGPOTY Macro – total thrill!!!!
Let’s consider this quote which coincidentally involves more photography p’s “practice” and “perfect”:
“ Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
If you are reading this, you will probably be glad to know that “10,000 photographs” represents just the start for me…I probably passed that milestone years ago and now continue to output this quantity every few months between personal and professional projects.
Looking at my first roll of developed negatives in my “bathroom” darkroom nearly 40 years ago, one could say I was “hooked”…today, “immersed” is more accurate. Before one presses the shutter, a tremendous amount of thought and planning typically goes into “making the photo” as opposed to “taking the photo.” I’ve enjoyed every step of this learning journey. Some professors said very kind things while others offered constructive criticism which often contributed to more rapid improvement.
So, frequently, I will revisit a theme or object many times and definitely see an improvement. My floral botanicals today are composed, lit and focused better than they were let’s say ten years ago. And, once you know the subject, it is easier to show the qualities which make it unique. The passion flower, below, never ceases to attract and challenge me because although it appears to be a fairly uniform, complex yet distinct and colorful flower, the depth of the blossom presents numerous photographic challenges particularly when shooting macro with limited depth of field.
And, if you want to see more of our work: www.awesomephotos.co