Balloon Flower on Black, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.
I photographed this Balloon flower and jasmine arrangement on a black background. Unlike Playcodon and Jasminum, where I was intentionally looking to create a “botannical print”, with this arrangement of similar flowers I wanted to make the subject pop out from the background in an almost strident fashion.
So I used two pinpoint LED lights to light the flowers, and worked from three captures. I processed the darkest one first (1/2 of a second shutter time) to get the black background in place, then layered in the lighter (longer) exposures. With the lighter exposures masked, I “painted” in white on the layer masks to reveal the brightly lit flowers.
[Nikon D300, Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro lens (75mm in 35mm terms), three captures at shutter speeds from 1/2 of a second to 4 seconds; all captures at f32 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]