I had a photographer friend of mine ask me how I setup this shot. This is a Christmas cactus that I brought in the house due to the weather. While it was inside, it started to bloom. This is the first bloom that I’ve had in two years. I shot this with a 50mm lens on my Canon Digital Rebel. The camera settings were ISO 400, f/22 at 1/400th of sec. I used a Canon 580EX II on the hot shoe to control an off-camera 430EX flash. The camera was at 6 o’clock of the flower and the 430EX was at 9 o’clock. I used a medium-sized Rogue Flash Bender to modify the light on the flash.
The f/22 was used to give me adequate depth-of-field to get all parts of the flower in focus. I used ISO 400 to get the shutter speed high enough to allow the flash to overpower all the ambient light in the room. 1/400th of a second did that. Since I was using Canon flashes, I was able to set them to high sync mode to allow the 1/400th of a second shutter speed. The Rogue Flash Bender served two purposes. First it made the light source bigger and therefore made the light less harsh. The second reason I used it was to keep the flash from spilling on the background. This along with the 1/400th second shutter speed kept the background dark and all the clutter from showing up in the photo.