Sweet Smell of Spring

Purple-leaf Plum blossoms in red vase

We had guests over for dinner last Saturday evening and in preparation Brian went out to the garden and trimmed our big purple-leaf plum, along with a few sprigs of cornelian cherry, to make an arrangement for our dining room table. He chose an antique red vase that’s been in our family for decades. The plum blossoms were just starting to open on Saturday, but a couple of days later they’d opened fully.

The vase continues to sit where we can enjoy the flowers and the sweet fragrance of the blossoms. We’ll come close and stick our noses right up to the flowers and inhale deeply. It’s a pleasantly sweet aroma, but not overpowering.

This photo is a composite of three frames shot with my Sony A6300, blended in Photoshop using light-painting techniques.

The bottom layer was exposed with the dim ambient room light, primarily a table lamp on the other side of the room. That’s what provides the exposure for the table and the background.

The middle layer was lit with an iPhone in flashlight mode placed on the table behind the vase, directing its light upward. We played with the positioning of the light to get the most interesting pattern of stems in the vase, along with good color from the glass.

The top layer was also lit with an iPhone, this time pointed at the flowers from a bit behind the camera and to the right. I chose the position to eliminate reflections in the glass of the cupboard in the background and to place the shadows in an interesting place, although you can’t really see them in the finished image.

The trick to creating composite images like this is to have everything locked down. No touching the subject or the tripod once the composition is set. Otherwise the layers won’t align properly.

Two take-aways from this experiment:

  • Remember to take time to stop and smell the flowers.
  • When you get an idea for a photo, jump on it now. The subject may not be there tomorrow and it will certainly look different.

Related Posts:

Comments are closed.