I mentioned yesterday that I got outside with my macro lens and shot some photos of the miniature daffodils in the backyard. Today I wanted to do some more, but it was raining outside and I didn’t feel like dealing with the water. So instead of going outside to take photos, I brought outside in with me.

I remembered an article a while ago at the Digital Photography School called Photographing Autumn Leaves – DIY Studio. I hadn’t tried it yet, so I thought today was a good opportunity. But instead of autumn leaves, I used spring blooms. I grabbed a few specimens of blooms from various sources and headed back inside to get my studio set up.

After cleaning both sides of a window, I taped my subjects to the glass and set up the tripod. I left the tripod legs at their shortest so I could get close to the window with my macro lens — actually, it was a sliding glass door so I could use the glass all the way down to the floor. We have some pine trees about 20 feet outside of the door, so they would provide a nice green backdrop for my shots.

I took about 60 shots by varying my angles and running through a bunch of different apertures. Why not? I was inside with my camera on a tripod and my subjects weren’t going anywhere! I ended up getting about 5 or 6 shots that I could really work with.

The photo below is one of the ones I processed today. I like it because of the colors and the back-lighting, which make the specimen somewhat translucent. It looks as if it were taken on a sunny day outdoors, but I assure you that it was done on a dark rainy day just as I described above. I also used an overlay blend with a Gaussian blur to give it a softer and more surreal look.

Photo of the Day…

Red Tree Blooms

Photo by Brian Auer
04/01/07 Flemington, NJ
Red Tree Blooms
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Sigma MACRO 105mm f/2.8 EX DG
Kenko 25mm Extension Tube
158mm equiv * f/32 * 30s * ISO100

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Really good photo! I like the bluriness of it and the contrast. Check out my photography page on my blog. Hope to see more from you. :)

- Brandon
zoominwheelchairs.com
zoom zoom.

April 15, 2007 3:18 pm

Thanks Brandon. I’ve been looking at too much of Michael Brown’s stuff — I think he’s starting to wear off on me. I took a look at your photos. I like the black & white “gate” picture. It’s kind of chaotic in subject matter, unsettling with the slight tilt, dark and gritty because of the overall tone — plus it’s black & white. I love black & white. Nice work, keep it up.

April 15, 2007 3:32 pm

Still reading through your site :-) That is a great photo!

May 11, 2007 12:14 am


Awesome Job! Fantastic photo . The tips and news are great.You would need to have a very clean window because any dirt would be in the same plane of focus as the Red Tree Blooms.
I really find B. Auer work lovely.Hope to see more from you. Always at look…………………

June 3, 2008 3:02 am

That is an interesting concept for making a still life image look as though it was taken outdoors. Taking pictures through glass is usually a recipe for disaster. Another way would be to suspend the subject ( on a strong wire to prevent movement, this can be made from wire coat hanger) and place a piece of coloured card 10 inches behind it. If you use a matt finish, light will not be reflected from the flash.

Marvin Africa

October 18, 2008 8:22 am

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