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It’s Wednesday and I usually do a still life of some sort.  I try to get my daughter to bake something and then use it in a still life of some sort, but today I thought I would try something different.

I spent the morning painting a canvas.  I use the canvas normally in its white state as a backdrop for my still life’s, but I really don’t like the stark white of the canvas.  So I took the canvas out to my studio and painted it.  I think it looks so much better and was exactly what I needed for todays subject.

I picked some flowers from the garden that are definitely past their use by dates.  Some would say past their attractiveness.  I, however, disagree with those people and think the flowers from my Bird of Paradise look even more extraordinary when they have dried out.

For you today some photos that I took with my new backdrop and my dead bird of paradise flowers.  The image above is a straight image, and one of the first I took.  I wanted to restrict the light quite a bit, so I set up the still life so the light was coming from the right and sort of from behind. I also opened up the aperture to give it a smaller depth of field.  With this first image I think the flower was too close to the backdrop and so I got too much detail from it.

I moved it further away and took several shots, I stayed with the open aperture again.  I took a series of bracketed shots so I could merge them for a HDR image.  This is the result.  I quite like these.

This image is basically the same as the one before but I zoomed in more.  You can see more detail and the flower fills the frame more.

This one is quite strange, it is like the feathers/petals have gone crazy and gone in every direction.    Very wild bird of paradise flower.  I love it.   Check out the next image.

I like this one, I like the wildness of it.  I also like the first one.  I am really happy with how my backdrop turned out as well.  I have another canvas, so I think I will paint that one as well, but in different colours for different still life paintings.

Moving the object further away from the background really worked here, and I have to keep remembering that I need to do that.  I also think I should remember to shorten my depth of field more often and really pin point what my centre of focus really is.

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