Advice on Shooting a White Plant at Night?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ~Stella~, May 27, 2009.

  1. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    ETA - White blooms, I should say.

    Specifically, one of these: Night Blooming Cereus - Specialty Gardens

    It only blooms at night and only once a year, but they are amazing when they do bloom. My parents have a huge one on their porch that produces dozens of blooms and mom takes terrible photos of it each year. I was thinking we could do a little better this time.

    Tips?
     
  2. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Off camera flash or flashes. It will take a couple of test shots to dial in the intensity. I always shoot mine manually for power outputs, that way I get what I want. Or if you cant do off camera then mount it on the camera and, maybe try a diffuser over the flash head or, a white coffee filter will work. What camera are you using by the way. Also you will need a tripod of something to stablize the camera.
     
  3. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Tripod, check. Off camera flash, not so much. Hmm.....
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I assume that once it blooms, it stays that way for a while?

    You could do a long exposure.
     
  5. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Off camera flash with paper in front to diffuse light.
    You want subtle even illumination.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Build one of those DIY light tents. Leave the bottom open (two sides of the box removed - one to shoot through, one on the bottom).

    Place that over the flower. I don't know how big it will need to be - make sure to make it big enough so that you can get a good composition without the box showing.

    Set up some lights around it. You could use house lamps if you had to.
     
  7. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    Several hours. I think theirs is normally about midnight to....sometime in the wee hours? Very inconvenient plant. I have a terrible photo of it...let me go look for it to give you an idea what I'm working with...
     
  8. ~Stella~

    ~Stella~ TPF Noob!

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    OK, terrible photo as promised:

    [​IMG]

    I didn't take it and it's obviously OOF and such, so I don't need to hear about that. I do have permission to do anything I want with it. The flowers are, from what I can tell, about 8" across. There are many more than these few blooms.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hmm... Bigger than I thought. The home-made light tent might not work as well as I thought. (It still could, it would just have to be much bigger than I envisioned.)

    OK, worst case scenario - tripod and long exposure, no additional lights.

    Little better - Same thing, but add in a few lights.

    Better than that - build a light tent big enough to fit over it.

    Optimal - buy/rent a flash or two.


    That's all I can think of. Long exposures should work fine, as long as it's not windy.
    If you can throw a little extra light on it, it will bring your exposure times down a lot.
     

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