Obviously I needed a background and it’s way too cold to go outside. I remembered we have these 24×36 pieces of colored construction paper and thought they might make a nice background. I held a piece of paper behind the flowers and took another test shot at 16mm. The paper was not nearly wide enough.
Changing lenses I help up the paper and made a test shot at 70mm. It looked like I could make the background work, but the paper wasn’t long enough to cover the table in front of the flowers. I also noticed every little shake of my hand transferred instantly to the flowers.
For the final photo, I placed another piece of paper flat in front of the end of the background piece. I used Lightroom 5’s cloning to remove the seam between the two pieces of paper.
I wanted the plant to really pop so I added some contrast and clarity to the plant only. The final photo (shown at the top of this post) is at 98mm, ISO 100, 1 sec @ f/16, tripod mounted, with natural light coming through our sheer kitchen curtains directly behind the camera. The sheer curtains act as giant light diffuser to keep the shadow edges nice and soft. I used a pizza box to hold the background in place so my shaking wouldn’t disturb the flowers during the shot.
~ Daniel Kmiecik