Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Great (Glowing) Flowers Photo Technique

If you want to learn how to make stylistically fresh images of plants on a white background then visit Niall Benvie’s blog and check out this really informative post. Niall is very generous and shares the entire overview of his process and includes equipment specs as well. This technique takes white-sweep studio portraits of flowers to the next level by creating translucent impressions of each subject through the use of backlight.

By the way, if you didn’t catch my earlier post on the subject, Niall’s brand new blog is a fantastic resource for anyone interesting in photographing wild nature. His site, entitled ‘Images from the Edge’, includes some of the best insight into the ethics of nature and conservation photography on the Web. Give it a read, why don’t you?


Niall Benvie said...

Now I see why I had so many hits yesterday! Thanks Clay, I appreciate your post.

My best


Clay Bolt said...


No worries! Glad to spread the word.


Adrian Thysse said...

I appreciate these types of images,especially for macro subjects (such as Alex Wild's ant photography), because it does allow the otherwise unseen details to really stand out. I have been experimenting with similar techniques myself. On the other hand, I have a bit of a problem with the idea of completely isolating natural subjects from their environment. Is this not just another form of eco-porn? Is nature really this clean and perfect and 'glowing'?
I would hope that if this style of photograph is used in educational materials, that photographs of the subject in its natural environment would also be included.

I have also linked to his site. Excellent art photography.

clay bolt said...

Hi Adrian,

Thanks for weighing in, as always.
I'll ask Niall to properly respond to your comment about eco-porn if he has a moment.

My opinion is that images like these –and some of the work that shooters like Joel Sartore are producing at the moment– can be very effective at drawing viewers' attention to the intricate details of certain plants and animals. Sometimes this method can be the only thing that will draw attention to a small subject that could be perceived as insignificant.

While I do agree that photos of subjects in their native habitats are very important and appealing, I think that any photographer who considers their photography to be a vehicle for conservation would be wise to use various methods to reach out to the public.