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Phalaenopsis NOID (Photography Black Backdrop testing)

This is a discussion on Phalaenopsis NOID (Photography Black Backdrop testing) within the Technical Photography Discussion forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; I can't always take them outside to get pictures with no backdrop though, it gets ...

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  1. #21
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    I can't always take them outside to get pictures with no backdrop though, it gets too cold in the winter. Thanks for all the tips everyone! I'll try the paper idea and the outside at night one too, now that its over 40F most evenings.

  2. #22
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    Carol-
    I think you would be surprised at how quickly the light drops off and goes black. You don't have to go outside. Experiment a bit and you will see it is easy to do inside.

  3. #23
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    Default Black background for orchid pictures

    I would like to contribute a bit to this discussion. I use a fair bit of black drape in my orchid pictures as most of them are taken outside in the grow area using natural light. However I am not averse to using flash outdoors when I try to record the maximum details in the blooms. The advantages of using flash are: (1) the high shutter speed to avoid camera shake; (2) the high intensity of light to overwhelm the ambient light, thus giving you a black background (3) the option of controlling the power from the flash - from 1/1 to 1/64 (4) the option of balancing the light with the ambient light . The disadvantages are : (1) washed out colours (2) hot spots and blocked highlights (3) 'artificiality' to whole look of the photo (4) 2-dimensional, flat looking pictures. To get the maximum benefits from using flash, an off-camera unit is essential.
    The worst possible place for the flash to be, is on the camera itself (built-in flash is very useful, but if one wants to be 'serious' and take some decent pictures then one has to invest in an off-camera flash). Flat looking pictures, harsh shadows, burnt out highlights and the dreaded 'red eyes' are a result of on-camera flash. The pictures I'm posting are all taken with my Nikon D200 and the on-camera flash is used in 'Commander Mode' as a trigger for the off-camera SB 600 flash unit. The pictures are by no means 'great' but help to illustrate some of the points I made in this post. What if your camera has a built-in flash but lacks the triggering option ? You can buy a cheap synchro-cord to enable you to use an off-camera flash or even invest in a flash trigger (radio controlled). I recently downgraded my camera to a Nikon D 5300 which does not have a Commander flash trigger facility, so I have bought a very cheap but well made Transceiver/Receiver Flash Trigger made by YoungNo (price US $50)
    All the pictures were taken with the Nikon D200 using the Tamron SP 90 macro lens: with the flash synchro speed 1/250 @ f 22.; This gives a 5 stop exposure over the existing light and thus rendering the background black (underexposed).
    #1 With the flash slightly above to the left and behind the blooms and the on-camera flash as a very weak fill-in
    #2 With the flash slightly above and to the front of the blooms . My preferred shot
    #3 On-camera flash giving vry dull, flat lighting.
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  4. #24
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    Default Black background for orchid pictures

    Here are 2 more pictures to illustrate above . Using off-camera flash at an angle also brings out the texture of the blooms. White flowers are notoriously difficult to photograph and angled lighting enhances both texture and tones. Btw this is Den Dawn Maree. In the previous post the cattelya is Blc Rustic Spots.
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  5. #25
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    Carol, i took the pictures in the sala (living room) and sometimes in the loo (that is why im getting some stares from my family of what im doing in the bathroom with an orchid and a camera with lights flashing...hahahaha) Just make sure its dark. So i usually take pictures at night with light off.

    I did not use any fancy flash, drapes, whatsoever. From the experience i got and the results as proof, you cant see the background (sofa, table, shower drape, sink, water closet, etc.)

    Just try and experiment, you will not waste any film.

    ---------- Post Merged at 01:27 PM ----------

    Wow cattan those pictures give a very melodramatic effect...ooohhhh

    ---------- Post Merged at 01:33 PM ----------

    Now i can say orchids and Photography goes hand in hand! Don't you think so?

  6. #26
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    Yes, orchids and photography DO go hand in hand! If you can't see the loo, I guess my living room is safe too... lol Thanks for all the advice and encouragement! Now I only have one orchid that is blooming at full on and a couple more that are pretty well done, but I can experiment anyways. I really do appreciate the help.

    I have to wonder if there is some way to use my older camera with the non-working flash. I guess outdoors in daylight.... It takes really nice macro pictures, or it did for my daughter... lol Like this one:

    Name:  Apple blossum forum.jpg
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla View Post
    I have to wonder if there is some way to use my older camera with the non-working flash. I guess outdoors in daylight.... It takes really nice macro pictures, or it did for my daughter... lol Like this one:

    Name:  Apple blossum forum.jpg
Views: 141
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    Nice???? I say EXCELLENT!!! look at the clarity of the picture you have!!!

  8. #28
    lanhua is offline Senior Member
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    those pictures I've at 11 o'clock in the morning, it was cloudy but it doesn't matter.
    Settings of my camera: on-camera flash, flash modus, aperture 16, time 1/250, ISO 400. In Lightroom, I just reduced the size of the pictures.
    The picture of Dendrobium; visible are also the the flowers to the right and to the left. If there is only single flower, you will see just the flower and the beckground is black. It doesn't matter, in the night or during the day. This is advantage of this methode. You can take the pictures also in the room, no problem.
    The second picture, shows a flower of chives
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  9. #29
    lanhua is offline Senior Member
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    few more, the same metode, this afternoon.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  10. #30
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    The only real problem with getting gorgeous macros like the apple blossom is that I need my daughter to do it... lol She is much the better photographer than I am and much more motivated. However, I am going to try some of the things mentioned here to see if I can get some better pictures than I have. My new Paph is lovely and I want some good pics of it.

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