Ever since my daughter Katie Rose was born a few years ago we haven’t used our fireplace for fear the wood smoke would irritate her already compromised lungs. This means that I’ve got a big pile of fire wood in the basement, perfectly cured and ready for use as photographic backgrounds.
Setting up this shot was simplicity itself. I found a piece of wood that seemed to contrast nicely with the rose bud. I took the wood and the blossom out to the dappled sunlight on the front porch. I moved things around until the lighting was right, using a white card to reflect some extra light at the bud. When satisfied, I snapped the photo with a macro lens, using a low-to-the-ground tripod.
This kind of simply put together still life composition can work—but only when the composition itself is simple, and also elegant.