I previously tried to shoot a Christmas cactus with a high powered flashlight and with what I normally use to shoot closeup shots with low depth of field (a Canon G15 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 on my Fuji X-T1). It turned out that for this technique:
- Wide depth of field is more valuable
- Holding heavy flashlights is not desirable
So, this time, I tried shooting with a lighter flashlight attached to a foam-covered wire and native Fuji lenses. The results were mixed due to only having one (uncooperative and not fully open) flower available, but the experience was good.
Question: “What is your favorite photo?”
Answer: “My next one.”
Because the only flower available was blooming sideways and under other branches, I had to coax it out with a wire covered in black foam. The “lift” is mostly invisible in the background of the final photos.
Again, I preferred the auto white balance results over the corrected 10,000K results even though the 10,000K is closer to the color of the flower.
I didn’t add sprinkles of water this time, but I miss them. The extra highlights and texture added interest to the flower. Plus, since this flower wasn’t in full bloom, there were not as many interesting leaves open.
Here is a comparison of the camera+lens combos. It is a little unfair since some have the nice water droplet highlights and open leaves, but here goes. (I cropped them all to horizontal for the comparison – please ignore the composition.)
- Canon G15
- Fuji X-T1 with Nikon 50mm f/1.8
- Fuji X-T1 with Fuji 18-55mm at 55mm
- Fuji X-T1 with Fuji 50-230mm at 230mm
Unfortunately, because this flower was resting on the table when not propped up, by the next night, it had bloomed and was starting to wilt. Unfortunately, this might be the last bloom of the season. The other buds are not growing, so it might be a while (summer) before I try this again unless I go buy some flowers.
Again, except for the Canon G15, the other shots had to be cropped a little. If I continue to shoot like this, I may consider getting some inexpensive extension tubes on eBay since the old manual focus Nikon 50mm gave the best results at 100% crop.