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Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
 

Backgrounds for Shooting Flowers


 
  sample re: material backdrop
sample re: material backdrop
© Diane Dupuis
Fuji FinePix 2600Z...
 
  sample re: material backdrop
sample re: material backdrop
© Diane Dupuis
Fuji FinePix 2600Z...
 
 
I like to take macro pictures of flowers and was wondering what was the best background to use. I want it to be plain, but I'm not opposed to solid colors (i.e., black, white, blue, etc.). I've tried with material, but many times the weaving on the fabric shows up (instead of a blurred solid color). I'm focusing on the flower before shooting. I'd appreciate any suggestions you may have! Thanks.


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4/23/2004 4:52:33 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Generally, a dark background looks better with a brightly colored flower. If you use material, get more distance between the flower and the background and use a wide aperture setting. This will help to place your background nicely out of focus.


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4/23/2004 5:46:21 PM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Thanks, Bob, for the advice. Unfortunately, I cannot change the aperture on my Finepix 2600. But I will work on more distance. Does anyone have suggestions as to what to use to hold the flower in the right position so you can have your both hands free?


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4/24/2004 4:50:49 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Go to a local craft store and get some of those thin metal flower rods and a block of styrofoam. The rods will usually slide up into the stems of most flowers. If not, you can use twist-ties to secure them. Once you've attached the rods, stick them into the foam and position the flowers however you like. You can also, of course, display them in a narrow, decorative vase.


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4/24/2004 5:06:42 AM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Thanks so much Bob!


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4/24/2004 5:21:04 AM

 
Darren K. Fisher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/7/2002
Contact Darren
Darren's Gallery
  You have already gotten some great suggestions but thought I would throw some more at you. I have been known to use shirts as a BG, example in my gallery under pure. Another great thing to use is black velvet or as I did fave velvet. CHEAPER!! For keeping the flower in place a good idea for this is clips like people use for their hair. Hope these help.

Darren


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4/27/2004 6:08:53 AM

 
Julie Randolph   Are you familiar with Photographers Edge magazine? They sell something in there that will hold your flowers in place while shooting. I don't remember what it is called but you can find them on line and have them send you a catalog.
Julie


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4/27/2004 7:02:32 AM

 
Lori Lozzi  
 
  daisy example 1
daisy example 1
F/2.3, 1/30, ISO 320, no flash, indoors/available light
© Lori Lozzi
Sony Cyber-shot DS...
 
  daisy example 2
daisy example 2
F/3.2, 1/125, ISO 100, -0.3 step, no flash, outdoors
© Lori Lozzi
Sony Cyber-shot DS...
 
 
It looks like you've gotten a lot of great suggestions. Here's what I've done, as I also enjoy taking close-ups of flowers and such. I've attached examples of 2 Gerbera Daisies I photographed using construction paper as a background. I just wedged it between the leaves and the stem (daisies were still in the pot). The other pix, the daisies were in a wine glass as a makeshift vase on my kitchen table. I propped the paper up behind it. I am still basically new to photography and use what I have available for backgrounds, etc. I hope this helps.
-Lori


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4/27/2004 7:32:52 AM

 
Robert Bridges   Why use any fake background? If you are shooting them in a garden how about
letting them look that way? If you want them to look like they were taken in a studio then why not just cut them and use black velvet?


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4/27/2004 9:13:03 AM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Thanks you all for your suggestions! Robert, if they were in a garden I would leave them there! Unfortunately I don't have a green thumb, so my flowers are usually store-bought. Thanks Lori for the construction paper idea!
Thanks Darren and Julie for your responses!


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4/27/2004 12:36:57 PM

 
Thomas Kendall   For growing plants and flowers get a 2'x4' peice of foamcore. Paint one side with flat white and the oterside with flat black or very dark gray. This makes a flat easy to handle background when place about 2 feet behind to flower.


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4/27/2004 4:33:40 PM

 
Robert Steele  
 
 
Diane I know this sounds strange but I too take macro photos of flowers, both cut/store-bought and in the wild, I have never failed to get permission just by going to someone's door and saying how lovely the flowers look would they mind if I take a few photos?
Recently I have begun to use a black velvet backdrop, but occasionally I forget to bring it along. When I do take it, I use it for more of a wide-view not macro. See example 1, then I go macro, with or without a backdrop since I allow the flower to fill the entire photo, example 2. The flowers here were purchased from Walmart, $3.99 for a bouquet, my wife loved them, and I got dozens of shots before there timely demise. Talk about budget photography, lol.


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4/28/2004 6:54:22 AM

 
Robert Steele  
 
  Tri-color Tulips 1
Tri-color Tulips 1
Example 1
© Robert Steele
Olympus Camedia C-...
 
  Tri-color Tulips Macro 2
Tri-color Tulips Macro 2
Example 2
© Robert Steele
Olympus Camedia C-...
 
 
Diane I know this sounds strange but I too take macro photos of flowers, both cut/store-bought and in the wild, I have never failed to get permission just by going to someone's door and saying how lovely the flowers look would they mind if I take a few photos?
Recently I have begun to use a black velvet backdrop, but occasionally I forget to bring it along. When I do take it, I use it for more of a wide-view not macro. See example 1, then I go macro, with or without a backdrop since I allow the flower to fill the entire photo, example 2. The flowers here were purchased from Walmart, $3.99 for a bouquet, my wife loved them, and I got dozens of shots before there timely demise. Talk about budget photography, lol.

OOPs, here are the photos, sorry.


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4/28/2004 7:02:15 AM

 
Diane Dupuis
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2003
  Thanks so much Thomas and Robert!


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4/28/2004 7:10:06 AM

 
Sandra J. Colby
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2004
  Have you tried putting them in a vase, taking them outside at dusk and shooting them? The low light makes the background black in most cases. Try it with a flash also. I do most of my work in the wild so use this outdoor technique often.
Sandi


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4/28/2004 3:14:20 PM

 
Jessica Neiswender   The clamps sold specifically for this type of photography are called 'Plamps'. They have a clip on either end of a posable, flexible arm. You clip one end to your tripod or another fixed object and then apply the second clamp to the stem of the plant you want to hold still and position for your photo. They are fairly expensive and if you can find a way to improvise with twist ties, styrofoam board, etc. you might be happier. But for about $40.00 you can get one of these. They are also great for holding diffusers/reflectors in position freeing up your hands for work with the flower and camera.


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5/7/2004 10:48:50 AM

 
jean ray
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/22/2004
  Here are two more ideas for inexpensive, but effective, backgrounds. You can get poster board and sponge paint it in colors of your choosing. I tried a mixture of soft green and blue that worked well. I also have used pillow cases. One in particular was a pastel floral print that made a wonderful background for stargazer lilies.


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6/7/2004 6:37:41 PM

 
Jennifer H. White
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/30/2005
  These are all great ideas. What do you recommend for lighting?


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10/15/2007 9:41:14 AM

 
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