I don't know if you're there yet, but you're getting close. I like the approach. I'm particularly fond of the way the front most leaf (green) is lit in the second shot. In the first shot, that particular leaf looks a little flat to me. I think it still needs a little work though. The lighting in the flower is great, but the little bit of light peaking out in the middle makes it look too artificial. I think if you rotate the flower a little to keep that bright area from steeling the show you'll be 90% there. Also, there is a lot of negative space that isn't used well enough for my tastes, you may want to play with the crop/composition a little, but that is a matter of personal taste. I think this is great stuff and you're well on your way to a true winner. I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
Thanks much for the comments. I figure this little project has a few nights more work in it. I want to try adding another flower and light in the background to the left.
I actually don't mind the light escaping the base of the flower as real lanterns tend to do that, but whether or not I get that next try will be luck. I did think about making a small reflector of aluminum foil and placing it inside of the flower at the base. That would eliminate that plus brighten up the lantern effect. Might also give me some light to shine on something below.
Feel free to add any more thoughts you have. They help a lot.
This idea has been rattling around in my head ever since a fellow cafe member referred to these flowers as "lanterns."
I tend to do this - pick a subject and go nuts on that one subject for up to a month. See where I can go with it.
Yes, it is. And the lighting on the leaves you see there was done with a hand held LED flashlight.
I did try lighting the flower with a similar light, but I prefer to use a flash when I can because the light is much more controlled and repeatable. Besides, it was fun making the several attempts at a paper funnel to aim the flash just at that flower.
I have even used lights inside of subjects trying to find new ways to light them. You can see such an image here, which uses an LED and a 13 second exposure to light the interior of a shell. Large image.