This was week 1 of another year-long endeavor, working through David duChemin’s Visual Toolkit one chapter at a time. The assignment this week was to optimize exposure, aiming for pushing it to the high-end of the histogram. So I took one of my favorite subjects (besides Peter), a piece of foam core, a flash, and my camera and set off to create chaos in the family room.
Goal: Achieve a high-key look, with a pure white background, without blowing out the highlights.
- 100 mm macro lens
- Large piece of white foam core
- Fresh flowers
- Diffusion dome
- Prop the foam core against a chair back
- Place the flower in small short glass
- Shoot slightly down on the flower
- Settings: ISO = 100, Aperture = 2.8, Shutter speed = 1/8 (note: I varied this with each shot to try to push the histogram to the edge
- Flash: angled slightly above the flower to hit the upper part of the foam core
- All processing was done in LightRoom
- Increased the Exposure on images that did not have a pure white background
- Increased the Clarity
- Added Vibrance
I have to admit, this assignment helped me realize how lazy I’ve become about “just handling it in post”. For the images that I really worked at pushing to the edge of the histogram in camera, I had to do very little processing. For the couple where I didn’t try to achieve “white” on the background it took a few extra steps.