Photographing flowers against a black background

Photographing flowers against a black background is easy and this setup will give you unique images compared to images taken against a white background. Black backgrounds work for all colors, they’re elegant, hide shadows and do not draw the viewer’s attention from the flowers. In this blog post, I will explain how to take photographs of small objects against the black background.

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What you need:

1. A Black background.
2. A light source.
3. A couple of boards (to prevent unnecessary light spilling).

I used a black textile for the shoot, but you can use a paper backdrop of A2 size or bigger. You can use a daylight bulb or natural light. I prefer to use a studio light with a daylight bulb as I mainly shoot in the evening.

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The Set-up

Firstly, place your black background behind your flowers.

Secondly, set up your light. It could be from the side or placed directly above. (lights at a 90° angle to the lens is the most commonly used setup). Move your light source around the flowers in order to get the desired effect.

Make sure you are not overblowing the background with your light source. If necessary shade the light source with a board. Also, make sure that you don’t have unnecessary lighting in the room. Keep windows closed if you are shooting in the daytime and reduce overhead lights at night time.

Settings-wise I recommend underexposing your shots. This can be easily achieved by setting your camera to aperture priority and moving the exposure compensation dial to -1 or even further, depending on how dark you want your images. Try different exposures and then pick the best shot out of them.

This set up is easy to use as you would not be fighting shadows and dust. Now just go and try!

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