Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas Cactus Shot

Christmas Cactus 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.
Here is an iPhone photo of the setup.Shot setup of the Christmas Cactus shot