Last summer, I thought I would mix things up a bit and check out a local florist to find different types of flowers to work with. I walked in, and asked for “sculptural and interesting” flowers. Ten minutes later I walked out with four very different flower stems (which cost more than 3 bunches of flowers at the grocery, but I was OK with that, I wanted different, and I spent days working with them). Because of the investment, I felt more committed to trying different approaches.
- Try simplicity to start. I found a simple stoneware bowl at Target, and cut the stem off the flowers (I always have a tinge of uneasiness when I cut a flower stem down, and I’m not sure why). The image was processed using Lightroom basic adjustments.
2. Try a different lens. I’ve had a Lensbaby Velvet for months, and have not been successful in finding good subjects to highlight its unique aspects. Trying it with my flowers, forced me to research best practices with the lens. Although I still need to work with it much more, I started to become more pleased with the results. I took a small piece of the hydrangea and placed it in a small blue Japanese teacup. I made two different compositions, leaving more white space in the second image for words or other cropping options.
3. Change your orientation. I turned the camera to a portrait orientation and tried different compositions to fill the frame with flowers.
4. Add complexity to your composition: I moved on from the single flower stem and added another in an identical tea cup to play with changes in depth of field.
Or place a single stem in front and make that the focus.
5. Use different processing techniques: Using the same simple arrangement in the teacup with a long macro lens. I processed the three images below using Nik Color Effects Pro. I took the opportunity to use effects I don’t normally try, and found I had to stop myself from making too many variations.