Critique Christmas cactus

Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
3,106
Location
Winter Haven, florida
Trying to learn how to light a flower. Not easy, at least not for me.
Wife wanted a picture of her Christmas cactus.
Beautiful flower.
Any thoughts on how to improve lighting?
This is a very soft light off to the right and a white cardboard reflector off to the left. Nothing exciting.
Almost no post- a little dodging and burning.
Color works here, but I always try black and white as well.
Thanks for looking
gary

2021-01-23 christmascactus2 (A,Radius8,Smoothing4).jpg
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2021-01-23 christmascactus2 bw.jpg
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Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
21,221
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I agree that the monochrome image works especially well, though the color version is also very nice. I can't think of anything in your lighting setup that might improve it but I wonder if you could improve the post-processing of the far right bright part of the flower in the monochrome image to bring out the detail displayed in the color image.

This is a very soft light off to the right

Please clarify what you mean by that. As an example, is there diffusion material between the light and the subject?
 
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Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
3,106
Location
Winter Haven, florida
My light source is an led lamp that is covered with a diffusion sock. This is mounted in a 12" softbox- front material of the softbox a second layer of diffusion. The softbox is about an inch to the right of the flower. It is as soft of a light as I could make.
The white Pistil made this difficult. I almost cut it off, but that would not have been correct for the flower.
I will look back at the bw. The only difference is I may have burnt that piece a little more on the color version.
Thanks for the guidance.
Trying to get better at this
gary
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
3,381
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Jupiter, FL
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Andy
I like the way this has turned out very much, and probably would have also chosen soft lighting for the flower. But since you've flagged the thread for critique, I'll offer a question (to which I truly don't know the answer):

Would the flower appear more three-dimensional if the lighting was a little harder and with reduced fill from the reflector?
 
Joined
May 27, 2005
Messages
9,935
Location
Clearwater, Florida
This is a beautiful flower worth playing with, Gary.

I like the colors, but that image almost looks flat. There is not enough shadow there to keep my interest. This is not as evident in the B&W. I believe this is a problem with LED lighting even when properly diffused. Perhaps experiment with the placement of a bare bulb to get a little more shadowing.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
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Kuşadası / Turkey
I really like the B&W image. The green and the pink colors are competing with each other in the color image. Also the bright parts on the pink flower seem a bit distracting to me. There are no such issues in the B&W image.
 

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