I went out tonight looking for a nice, easy sunset photo on the river. Turned out a lot of other folks, of course, had in mind on such a beautiful evening to fish. I started down a narrow trail hoping to find some overlook that would give me a view of the sunset and the water, without the fishermen, but it was not to be. Turns out the more I walked down the trail the further I got from the water.
Eventually I came to a small glade with hundreds of tiny flowers, all sorts of different colors and shapes. There was little breeze, but the trees were thick and the light dim, not the sort of environment that lends itself easily to capturing tiny, lovely flowers. But I set up my tripod hoping a long exposer would do the trick. I tried lots of different things, but nothing quite came out the way I envisioned. I was just starting to think of how I might tweak the images into my vision in Lightroom, when I realized I had my flash with me. Shooting flowers doesn’t generally call to mind strobe lighting, but I decided to give it a shot.
I flipped down the wide angle panel as it was the only diffuser I had available and handheld it behind and above right of the camera (I had my wireless flash trigger with me as well). I still wasn’t getting exactly what I wanted, but I was a lot closer. I took several shots and different exposures and holding the light at slightly different angles.
At home and loaded everything up into Lightroom and decided to give its new HDR merge a try. I’ve only had one other attempt at HDR that I was happy with, so my hopes weren’t high, but I was really pleased with how it came out. It’s not easy for me to get definition out of a completely white flower, but HDR and flash photography seems to have done the trick.