These three tiny succulent (and plastic, I might add) potted plants sit in one of the two small windows that flank our fireplace in our apartment.   I love the way the sunlight streams through the glass in the late afternoon.  But try as I might, I have never been able to get a satisfactory shot – mostly since the windows are about 7 feet off the ground AND the storm windows on the outside are covered with dust and cobwebs.  Or as was the case today, covered in snow and ice.  So, since I’ve been riding on the minimalist train as of late,  I decided to keep it simple and set up a shot on my office light stand.

I placed the trio of fake plants on an almost white background (blank newsprint) and set the camera on a tripod just above the level of the succulents.  I set up the bright lights of the stand as far forward as possible.  Since the lights would add too much side light and not enough in the front, I use my on camera flash to add a bit of light to the front.  I shot 2 frames – one for the foreground exposure of the plants and one to create a relatively even, bright background.

The processing for this shot was rather simple.  I combined the 2 exposures into a 32-bit HDR image (created via Photomatix) and did some basic level, contrast, clarity and color adjustments in Lightroom.  Then in Photoshop,  I made sure the objects were basically level, removed  a few dust spots and dust bunnies, made the image canvas larger by adding white all the way around, plopped in a textured background and then added the final touches with a subtle brush stroke look from Topaz Impression and color-correction with the Color Lookup adjustment layer.

Not quite what I originally wanted, but it works!

Day 138 of 365.

A Trio of Succulents

A Trio of Succulents