Photoshoot 9: Flower

This shoot was inspired upon researching John Blakemore’s and Robert Mapplethorpe’s flowers. I aimed to compose a series of images that showed the aesthetics of the flower by using light. I used one light source, with a snoot and honeycomb filter to achieve these effects for a soft but directed light.


I used black card as my background as I believe that this adds contrast against the white petals. I adjusted the positioning of the flower and used the light to create shadows forming from the leaves.  I directed the light through the petals to illuminate the main area of the subject. Fig. 6 is slightly blown out in the flower head area as I turned up the flash power slightly too much making this image possibly too blown out, although the leaves seem to arranged more appealingly in this image. Fig. 5, fig. 7 and fig. 8 in my mind are the strongest images of the set due to the positioning and the delicate light that has been achieved.

I was being experimental with the flower by removing and scattering the petals, also placing the flower in a fallen vase as Irving Penn would. I have learnt to be more adventurous when creating my work due to being introduced to such awe-inspiring photographers that aim to make mundane, or ordinary objects look incredible with lighting techniques. I used settings f/9, 1/160 second shutter speed and ISO 400. I did not intend to use ISO 400, this was already pre-set from my last shoot and I forgot to adjust it.

Overall I am happy with this shoot as I believe I have created some artistic and interesting images. The shoot also appeared to progress fast, while being carried out precisely and effectively. I didn’t use a tripod as I didn’t have mine with me and they were in high demand on that particular day. The use of a tripod could have resulted in sharper images with the guarantee of no camera shake. Also if I was to do this shoot again I would use a larger aperture to maintain sharpness throughout the image and make use of a macro lens. As seen in fig.2 the petal in the foreground is fractionally out of focus, although I think the smaller aperture works for fig.5 as the petal in the foreground obtains full focus and grabs attention which is what I was aiming to create.

I used settings 1/160 second shutter speed, ISO 400, and I used a range of aperture to experiment with my depth of field (f/5.6, f/7.1, f/9 and f/11). I am pleased that I have experimented with my apertures as stated needed work in previous write ups.



MAPPLETHORPE FOUNDATION. (2015) Seibu, Shibuya. [Accessed: 19/11/15]

PINTEREST. (2015) Robert Mapplethorpe, Flowers. [Accessed: 191115]

LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM. (2015) Blakemore Archive. [Acessed: 19/11/15]

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