Rogue FlashBender Illuminates the Beauty of a Pink Rose
Roses are arguably one of the most beautiful flowers on the face of this planet. They don't smell so bad either, which makes working around them even more pleasant. Buy the wife (or yourself) a bouquet of roses and you have days' worth of photo subject for your macro lens (and presumably a happy spouse).
For this image, I attached a Rogue FlashBender softbox to a forward-facing Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite. With this setup, I was free to shoot handheld as I worked on finding pleasing compositions – with deep-reaching soft light following me. This turned out to be my favorite image from this shoot. A nearly centered rose's petals curve outward into and subsequently out of the frame in a balanced manner.
Later, print one of your rose pictures to gain even more return on your small investment.
105mm f/11.0 1/100s ISO 100
Softly-Lit Many-Petaled Purple Flower
Creating a soft, even light on a close subject such as this one is a challenge that is often best-met by a small softbox positioned just outside of the frame. Creating this light with an on-camera Speedlite is a challenge that is perhaps best-met with a Rogue FlashBender Softbox.
For this photo, a Canon 600EX-RT was mounted with its head in the forward position. In this position, the attached FlashBender Softbox protruded out over the end of the lens to provide a broad overhead light on the flower, creating nice soft lighting without harsh shadows.
From a compositional standpoint, I positioned the flower so that the lines of the petals would radiate into the picture from a point about 1/3 of the way into the frame from both the bottom and right. The purple color borders/frames the cream/white color.
100mm f/11.0 1/60s ISO 100
An Easy-to-Find Colorful Subject: Candy
A colorful image requires a colorful subject. Where do you find a colorful subject? Look no further than your local candy store (or candy aisle in the supermarket). As a generalization, candy not sold in individual wrappers is brightly colored – eye candy inviting consumption. Another benefit to this subject is that it is usually not expensive – and that you get to eat it after you are done photographing it is a benefit that cannot be overlooked.
To arrange the candy, I simply dumped it into a large dish and pressed the top level. Finding the right composition of the randomness was a bit more challenging. Most options worked, but in general, I liked when the candy not fully contained in the frame was mostly out of the frame. The color of the eggs could have been arranged, but I went with the default as-they-landed pattern.
Lighting this subject was easy. Rogue FlashBender Softboxes were mounted on a pair Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT flashes that were sitting on the floor on opposite sides of the dish. The flashes were supported by their shoe stands and their heads were directed straight up. A hot shoe-mounted Canon ST-E3-RT triggered the flashes. The result of this setup was an even, soft light across the entire dish. I was able to move closer or farther away and could photograph at various angles with no change to the lighting.
46mm f/8.0 1/125s ISO 100
Spoonful of Candy
The recipe for this image:
Clamp a mellon baller over a clean black back-painted glass surface using a Delta Clamp and add cookie/cake sprinkles to taste.
Tripod-mount a Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro Lens attached to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR in manual mode with settings of 1/160, f/16 and ISO 100.
Mount a Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter to the 5D III and configure a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash as a slave.
Attach a Rogue FlashBender Softbox XL to the flash and while handholding the flash and softbox, trigger the image capture using a Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote.
What you get is this image. While the reflection created by the Rogue Softbox is not as smooth as those delivered by more expensive softboxes, the reflection is not bad. One might think that a cloudy sky was the source the reflection.
Overall, I like the bright colors in the otherwise monochrome scene. Images like this are easy to create with the right gear.
150mm f/16.0 1/160s ISO 100
Christmas Cactus Flower: Background Color by Gel
Once a year (though always well after its namesake Christmas holiday), our Christmas cactus blooms. The plant itself is nothing special to look at, but the flowers are quite beautiful.
The biggest challenge for this annual photo opportunity is finding a pleasing background to go with the flower. I've done the easy on-white and on-black options many times and I've used various color cards behind the flower. I needed a new option and the Rogue Flash Gels provided just that.
I placed the cactus pot on my shooting table (I'm using an Elinchrom model). This table has a white Plexiglas surface with a large sweep up the back. An off camera Canon 600EX-RT with a Rogue FlashBender Softbox installed was placed on the table in front of the selected flower and a second 600EX-RT was positioned to light the back of the table independently. Both flashes were sitting on their shoe stands and the flashes were triggered by an ST-E3-RT Remote Transmitter.
By placing a Rogue Flash Gel on the background flash, the white shooting table background became the gel color. The background color could be changed by simply replacing one gel with another and the currently selected color could be made brighter or darker by simply adjusting the flash output (done directly on the ST-E3-RT). I worked through various color options provided in the gel kit and decided that the pink color complemented the Christmas Cactus flowers best. As you see here.
105mm f/10.0 1/200s ISO 100
Rogue FlashBender Softboxes Light Spilled Candy
Cake/cookie decorating candies/sprinkles are brightly colored, inexpensive and come in vast quantities. This makes them useful for macro photos and in this case, I was using them as a subject while evaluating the very-useful Rogue FlashBenders.
I placed the candies in a small plastic cup and tipped them over on a black back-painted glass desk. A Canon 600EX-RT flash fitted with a Rogue FlashBender Softbox was positioned on both sides of the candy and a third flash and softbox was used on-camera for fill. A piece of black velour fabric was draped over a box sitting on the desk in the background.
This example also shows the shallow depth of field delivered by f/2.8 on a 105mm macro lens.
105mm f/2.8 1/200s ISO 100
Using a Flash Gel to Accent Glassware Background
Want to create a bright background for your glassware photos? Place something white (poster board, printer paper, etc.) behind the subject and hit the white with an off-camera flash with a Rogue Flash Gel installed. You pick the color and the brightness is adjusted by changing the flash output.
150mm f/11.0 1/200s ISO 100
Christmas Cookie Decoration Sprinkles
Move in close to your subject while using a telephoto macro lens and use a wide aperture. Then watch the background melt out of the picture faster than the cookies melt in your mouth.
150mm f/2.8 1/200s ISO 100