Getting light inside flowers – Hellebore flower photography with white light and UV


in this video I’m going to be using some
unique lighting techniques including UVIVF photography to shoot some hellebore flowers.
You guys can go and grab some flowers of your own and follow along.
So I’m going to go and get started and I’ll see you in just a sec! Hi guys, I’m Ben from Adaptalux
and welcome to another macro photography tutorial, today we’re
shooting some flowers, some hellebore flowers to be specific. It started to get
a lot warmer and a lot brighter in the evenings so flowers have started to
bloom and Sam has given me one of these hellebore flowers out of his garden and
they’re really beautiful so I think they’re going to make a really good
macro photography subject. They’ve got some great colors on the petals and a
lot of interesting textures and patterns going on. I’m going to jump right in get
my flower out get my lighting and my camera ready and you can follow along
with any flowers you have at home. The hellebores that I’ve got they were
actually picked a few days ago so they’ve started to wilt a little bit
they’ve got a little bit droopy so the very first thing that I’m going to do is
take a look and pick some of the better ones some of them haven’t actually
bloomed yet so we might have a few different stages of of blooming too to
capture over the next couple of days but I’m going to pick one of the better ones
for now and just snip it off at the top and then are going to clamp it in a
position where we can get some really good angles and get our lighting in
position without the flower facing downwards the whole time. Now that I have my hellebore set up in a
little clamp here it means that I can move my subject around really easily
find different positions and angles without having to get my camera or
tripod into such an awkward position but it means that I can maybe look down from
the top or from the side very very easily with just a very simple
manipulation of this little clamp if you don’t have one of these that’s fine you
can go freehand with your camera and move all the way around today I’m going
to be shooting mostly on a tripod simply so that I have my hands-free to talk to
you guys but also to manipulate my lighting which is going to be a big
factor in these images the light that I’m going to be bringing in is of course
coming from the Adaptalux Studio I have that here on my mini tripod I’ve
got the legs extended here so that we’ve got quite a lot of height and we can
bring some lighting arms around the front of the flower but also around the
back because one of the first things that I want to try is to actually shine
the light through these petals I’ve had a bit of success with that in the past
not only with our leaf shots but also with some flowers as well and because
these petals are quite thin I think that we can get some really cool effects of
maybe the light coming from inside the flower or maybe getting some extra
detail and color out of these petals as the light shines through so the first
thing that I’m going to do is just plug in a white lighting arm to begin with
and bring that around the front of my flower now as you can see there we’re
getting some quite harsh shadows so I can actually just pop a diffuser on the
front of here as well and move that a little bit out of the way so that it’s
not in my frame I then I have a second white lighting arm and I’m going to try
and bring this one in from the back of the flower now it’s important to try and
hide the lighting arm behind your subject here what you can see already
that we’re getting quite a nice glow from just shining some light on the back
of the and the back of those leaves if I just
changed my exposure a little bit you can see that that’s going to turn out really
really nice with those coloured effects shining through the back of the flower
and into the leaf as well now at this point with my one diffuser on here
and then my second lighting arm shining in from the back I think it’s worth just
moving our lighting around and seeing what that actually changes in this scene
because it’s quite a complex setup with that position of the light in the back
really affecting how this whole shot looks so moving maybe only that
backlighting arm around moving both lighting arms by moving our entire
lighting setup it’s really worth experimenting where that light is going
to get placed in your scene of course you can also experiment with taking off
the diffuser and getting a little bit more harsh light on the front there
but I think I prefer it with the diffused light on the front and then the
un-defused light getting the more power shining straight through the flower I go
to try a couple more shots just using this method getting a couple of
different angles and some different angles of the lighting coming in and see
what we can actually do with this I’m really enjoying this method of
lighting our flower using that white lighting arm coming from the back to
give it a little bit of a glow inside the flower I think is a really cool and
interesting technique that gives it a little bit more visual interest in the
images almost like the flower is glowing from the inside of course we still need
that main diffused white light because just the lights coming from the inside
of the flower leaves all of the detail in the dark in shadow because there’s no
light shining on the front so you need that light at the front but adding an
extra bright interesting light shining through the petals or through the leaf
can really add to the effect as well next up I want to try a different flower
now this is a bud that has barely opened up and because of that we’ve got some
very very pristine shapes and patterns on the inside of here I just want to pop
this into my clamp and see if I can’t use that same technique of lighting
through the petals to get a good shot of the inside of this flower just as its
opening up for the shot of the closed-up smaller
flower I’ve tried quite a few different setups moving my lighting around in the
back of the flower shining it through from the sides and I think I’ve settled
on this setup here so it’s a variation on what we’ve already done with a single
white lighting arm coming around the front with a diffuser on it so that it’s not getting any harsh shadows shining on the front of those petals
next we’ve got another lighting arm coming around to the bottom side so
that’s shining down here you can see if I hit record here you’ll see that as I
remove that light that bottom side of the flower loses that shine coming
through the inside but that’s sort of left it a little bit unbalanced so I’ve
got another lighting arm coming in here up on the top now with these three
lighting arms together it’s created sort of a balance we’ve got some nice light
coming in from the front we’ve got light coming in from the top and also from the
bottom the trick with something like this is that your exposure is going to
be much much higher on the outside of the flower so if you’re trying to expose
for the outside of the flower the inside is going to be underexposed and vice
versa the trick to changing this is
manipulating the brightness of each of your lighting arm so we can do that
using the mobile app you can connect via bluetooth to the control pod here or we
can just do it manually and you’ll see as I press the top button one of my
lighting arms will start to flash that’s the one that I’m controlling so if I go
ahead and choose this well let’s see it without any light coming in from the
front I then just have to hold the the plus or the minus button and slowly that
light will change now we have no light coming from the front that flashing
means that it’s minimum so if I just let go is going to save that profile and
then we have a different balance of light and you can do this for each of
your 3 lighting arms to make sure that you’re getting the right balance of
light on the inside and the outside of your flower
I think this style of shining light through organic material is really
magnificent we’ve done a lot of it in the past shooting leaves and dried
leaves but shining light through petals and flowers can really take it to the
next level bringing out those colors the detail and even the structure of the
plant with veins and cells if you can get close enough it’s almost as if the
the light is emanating from the flower itself which of course it’s not it’s
just shining in through the back we do however have a way of making the light
emanate from the plant itself and that’s using UVIVF photography now if you
don’t know anything about UVIVF I do recommend going and watching our
explainer videos first which I’ll link up in the top right hand corner now that
goes through everything that you’re going to need to know in order to get
started with UVIVF photography it’s not as complicated as you might think you
don’t need any camera modifications or extra filters it’s all about the light
source so I’m going to grab our UV lighting arms which will be our light
source for today and I’ll set up a UV shot so that you can see exactly how to
do it the difference between a UV IVF setup and a regular setup is not that
great we’re still going to need our camera on a tripod because we’ll be
doing a long exposure but also we’ll need our subject to be quite stable as
well because we don’t want any movement or camera shake while we’re taking our
shot the main difference comes in our lighting the setup that I’ve got here is
two UV lighting arms and you can tell that they’re UV lighting arms not only
because they have a purple connector but also because they don’t actually create
any light so this UV lighting arm is turned on but because it’s quite bright
in here and I’m not very fluorescent you can’t see any actual visible light
coming from my hands there or the flower at the moment so it’s going to be very
important to get darkness I’m going to be turning out all of my lights and
getting it as pitch-black in my room as possible so that the fluorescence
created by the flower is the brightest thing around you’re not going to be able to follow
along once I turn out the lights so I’ll very quickly tell you what I’m about to
do and then I’ll give you some before and after shots that I’ve taken in the
dark firstly you need to set up your camera your lighting your subject and
your composition while the lights are still on just so that you can see what
you’re doing you also need to focus your camera and if your lens has an autofocus
mode you need to flip it over to manual otherwise your camera might try refocus
in the dark and it’ll mess up all of your focus settings that you’ve made in
the light once you have all of that done you can turn out the main lights and
take a long exposure you want to keep your ISO as low as possible and your
aperture can be whichever aperture you’d like for the depth of field that you’d
like to go for you then get the correct exposure by manipulating your shutter
speed so we’re probably going for quite a long shorter speed of twenty to thirty
seconds once you’ve done that you should have a really nice UVIVF shot pop up
on the back of your camera which is the best part because sometimes you can’t
even see the subject fluorescing with your own eyes even in the pitch darkness
so I’m going to go and turn out the lights now and see what these hellebores
actually look like under two UV lighting arms I’ve really enjoyed shooting these
flowers today hellebores make for a really nice macro photography subject they’ve
got a lot of color and they’ve got those nice patterns on the insides of the
leaves that you can focus in on even if the flower isn’t fully open yet like
mine today you can use the techniques like I did shining light through the
outside of the flower and into the inside to get a really visually
interesting image if you have access to some UV lighting arms you can again use
some UVIVF techniques to get that otherworldly look and hellebores they’re
really really fluorescent so it’s a great starter subject if you wanted to
try out your new UV lighting ups leave me a comment below letting me know
which of these two techniques you prefer the more conventional white light
shining through the outside of the flower or the UVIVF techniques where
you get those interesting otherworldly colors if you enjoyed the video make
sure to give it a like whilst you’re down there and don’t forget to subscribe for more
flower photography and macro photography ideas and inspiration in the future for
now though guys thank you very much for watching and I’ll see you next time

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