Prize Winning Photos Made Easy

Yellow DaffodilHow does one create a prize winning Spring photograph on a budget when a  Buffalo Winter hasn’t moved on yet?

It’s too early for daffodils in Buffalo. So I went to the florist and bought one for 2 bucks and some change.

I had hoped for a clear blue sky outdoors to shoot it in it’s natural element, but it rained and rained until I could wait no more.

Finally, I chose to shoot indoors. I have a room painted with blue walls.

I put a spring clamp at the base of the flower to hold it, set it on a chair in front of the blue walls. I knew I needed a big light source, close, to create softness so I hung a big white bed sheet from the ceiling behind me to bounce my speedlight off of.

This was a one flash, on camera, deal.

I got down on the floor to shoot up at the flower to make it unusual. (most folks shoot down on the flower because that’s where they are). Most times when we use a flash we flash up, because that’s where it is too – on top of our camera. But to do that meant the top of the photo would be lighter than the bottom, not what we see when we look at the sky. When we look at the sky, the top is darker.

So I turned my camera sideways and angled the flash 45 degrees to the floor and rear white sheet to lighten the lower part of the photo. The big sheet gave lots of softness to bring out the petal details with gentle shadows, and the lighter bottom gave a real-to-outdoors look. A touch of gradient boost in PS added additional darkness to the “sky”.

Think about the light when you shoot. Think about the “3C’s + 1”

…Composition, Color, Clarity + that certain something different. A new perspective or digital prop. Don’t let circumstances dictate your results. “Find a way,” I always say.

“When you can master the light your photography can delight.”

Scott Voelker’s digital props offer a great shortcut for folks looking to create prize winning, big money earning  portraits, easily. It’s one of our most popular requests.


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