Lighting Can Be Cheap

As you’ve heard, we went to see the tulips last week. Brought some home too – very nice but they don’t last forever. On the way out they still have a nice look. Here was last night:
Closeup of a Tulip

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Since it was dark and I was using the macro lens, I had the tripod out.  Yes, I was attempting to do things correctly.  After cranking the aperture wide open to blur the background, I thought I’d try something else and go the other direction – want to see more?  I, personally, think it is worth hitting the link.

So if the shot above was 1/2 second at ISO 200 and the aperture wide open (f/2.8), what happens when I crank the aperture down all the way to the other direction and drop the ISO to 100?  Well at f/32 and ISO 100, the shutter speed drops to 30 seconds.  That might be fine and dandy, but should give roughly the same picture, plus a little noise and blur.  What it does let you do is screw around a bit.  I happened to be holding a big flashlight I’d been using to add enough light to get the focus right before.  What happens when you spend a couple seconds in the middle of the exposure pointing it at the middle of the flower?  You get something like this:

Closeup of a Tulip with additional flashlight lighting in the middle

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Ooh… nice colors, right?  Draws your eye into the middle where everything is nicely illuminated.  Pretty different picture.  You could do it again – shine the light around the edges instead of the middle:

Closeup of a Tulip with additional flashlight lighting of the petals

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Sure, it was quick and dirty so it’s illuminating everything a bit, but it’s mostly around the petals.  Different colors pop out, but since it’s a long exposure and a flashlight bleeds light everywhere, it’s still a soft color.  I think this is my favorite of the three.  The point is, if you look at the junk laying around, especially in indoor, low-light pictures, you can do some cool stuff.  Just make sure you keep the ISO speed low and the aperture small so you have enough time to play.  On a shorter exposure, not only do you have to work faster, but the things you’re doing influence the picture more so it’s easier to “mess up”, if you can even say that about something like this.  Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the result.  You can get a lot of mileage out of some dying flowers.

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