Project 52, Week 1: Heart of Roses

For the first Project 52 entry I kept it simple as I prepare and coordinate other more complex shoots. 

For those of you who do not know, Chris and I married (finally) on November 30th. It took place at the Langham in the financial district of Boston

It was an amazing time!

One of my favorite details were the flowers. Our florist, Misty Florez, did an amazing job. People were fighting over who got to take home the centerpieces! Thankfully, I managed to save a few rose blooms for myself and dried them when we got home. 

Two little bunches of baby roses did something to make me happy as they dried side-by-side. They curled toward each other into a heart shape. Pretty symbolic, no? I knew this would be my first subject. 

Lighting is pretty straight forward. A single light source coming down from 12 o'clock.  The roses have wonderful texture, so a small light is the best solution to keep the shadows deep. A speedlite would have done the trick, but an elongated light would light across the top of the roses much better. In steps the Westcott Icelight. It's narrow, but long and easily manipulated. The roses measured 9" across. I didn't want too much wrap-around from the Icelight, so I masked out all but 9" of the light with some black foil. 

I also wanted some light fall off after the light kisses the blooms. Holding the Icelight about 4" away from the top of the roses caused the stems, 4" away from the buds, to be in roughly half the available light. 

To make the colors pop I placed the roses carefully on a piece of black felt. Black felt is a wonderful piece of fabric because it does great job absorbing light. However, I thought it absorbed too much light. I didn't want deep black, I wanted some texture and detail to the black as well. 

I found a piece of dirty glass and placed it between the camera and roses. There was just enough spill from the Icelight to light the dirt on the glass giving the black some substance. It also had the added bonus of reducing the contrast on the flowers juuuuuust a touch. 

Final Image: