Still Life Photography: Creating A Beautiful Rose Flat lay Photo Using Natural Light | DENISE LOVE | Skillshare

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Still Life Photography: Creating A Beautiful Rose Flat lay Photo Using Natural Light

teacher avatar DENISE LOVE, Artist & Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class project

    • 3. Flat lay inspiration

    • 4. Background choices

    • 5. Styling our flat lay

    • 6. Shooting with natural light by a window

    • 7. My behind-the-scenes camera setup

    • 8. Tethering and Camera Settings

    • 9. Shoot recap & Editing in Lightroom

    • 10. Final thoughts

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About This Class

Flower flat lay photography has become one of my favorite things to do every time I order flowers to use for still life setups. Roses have become my go-to flower - I especially love it when the roses are two-toned. You could do these with any flowers you choose. Peonies are a really nice choice also. As with other still life photography - this can be done in almost any space near a window you have available to you in your own home. No need to go out when it is raining, cold, windy, etc… you can practice anytime!

In this class we'll cover:

  • Some inspiration from past sets I have done to give you an idea of all the different setups that are possible.
  • Styling your set up near a window for natural light
  • Background options for you to consider
  • My behind-the-scenes camera set up using a boom arm tripod. You can handhold to shoot these sets also by leaning over them - but a tripod will save your back!
  • We'll also look at my final photo from this setup and do some editing.

This course is perfect for beginners getting started and needing ideas. It's also great for experienced photographers wanting ideas and tips for doing studio setups.

Required Gear: A camera and some flowers. You can do still life / flat lay photography with any camera you have. A few backgrounds to play with and some flowers. 



Meet Your Teacher

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Artist & Photographer



Hello, my friend!

 I'm Denise, an artist, and photographer. I'm really passionate about sharing what I have learned with others and creating workshops is what I really enjoy. I've primarily focused on Photography Workshops up to this point. After having a thriving studio photography business since 2012, and being involved in different arts my whole life, I have started to delve into other creative workshops to keep things fresh and exciting for myself. I enjoy the journey of creating as much as what I end up with when I'm done. I can't wait to share with you and see what you are creating! 

I have an Instagram just for my art feed if you want to connect over there. I'd love to see you! I also have my main Instagram account for all things ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: I can do a floral flat lays for a number of years. They're beautiful, they're inspiring. They're easy. I can set up at a window here in my house and not have to go out on bad weather days. I'm Denise love and I am a still life photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. And I'm going to show you the piece that is the inspiration for this class. This is a piece that I had printed in frame a while back. And it's roses, it's one of the first rows flat lays that I started experimenting with. And to this day it's still one of my favorite pieces and I'm so glad I had it framed and his hanging in my living room. And what we're gonna do in this class is I'm going to show you how I took that photo, will show you my background options. We'll talk about lighting, different flower choices that you might select. We'll talk about camera settings. We'll get into a little bit of editing and, uh, hopefully you're all done. You'll be inspired to take a few of these flat lay photos for yourself. So I'm really excited to have you here. So let's get started. 2. Class project: Your class project for this class is to set up your own still-life flat lay near window, and take several photos of your set. I'd love if you stay at your set for quite awhile and took top-down coming from the side, experiment with the lighting side lighting backlighting. You know, all the different things that you can do because while you have thought up this set and you pull the effort to get it together and your props and everything. I want you to spend some time at it and go past is taking the one photo for the assignment and see, you know, how many beautiful things that you can come up with and maybe even create a series. But for your assignment, I'd like you to take on flat lay of your set and come back and share that with the class. This is a, another prince of the framed photo that I shared in the welcome video. And look how beautiful it is. I want you to experience having a print just as beautiful for yourself. So spend some time on this. Don't rush through it. Get everything set up, experiment possibly with some tethering so you can get all your composition and your layout from the very beginning, just right. But if you hand hold and you want to stand over it and take your photos that way. That's fine too. It's kind of up to anything that's going to work for you in this setup and come back and show me what you did. 3. Flat lay inspiration: I wanted to show you some rows, flat lays that I've done just so I can give you some inspiration for different layouts and things that you might do for your own rose photos. So here we have a completely different layout than the one that we're doing in class. But I wanted you to see that if you have five roses, you can do something fun. If you have three roses, are three flowers, or if you have, you know, in this case, eight or nine or 10 flowers, some of the different things that you might consider setting up. So this one's really fun and there's two stacks and roses. And I love the way the light comes in, and that's really, really a pretty setup. Then we kinda get into same set from a different angle. So I want you to not be afraid to come in from different angles. While for the main project in this class, I'm doing top-down photo for a true flatly. Why you have all that setup? Go all around the photo and take different shots of your setup. You don't just stop at the one photo and call it done. I like to give as many pictures as possible of a setup that I've put together. So it really makes it worth the time and effort that I spent thinking it up, pulling it all together, getting my studio already, gamma camera already, and then getting in there and taking photos. I want to get as many great pictures out of one set as I can. I don't want to just take one picture and call it a day. So a lot of times I will spend hours at the same set. And sometimes if I have, say, a set of roses, I'll go back two or three days in a row because the first day I'm kind of getting the standard stuff out of the way. The things I first thought of, the stuff that, you know, maybe maybe you'll think of. And then if I go back the second day now I'm starting to think outside the box and think, well, how can I change this up? How can I make it different? How can I do something completely different than I did yesterday? And then I really start to move into more interesting layouts and compositions. And I'll think that new angles and I'll start playing with light manipulation. And I really like going back to the same set more than once. So I definitely encourage you to do this. To start off with your main flat lay is a top-down photo, but then don't be afraid to move all around that and get different photos and different layouts and different compositions. Change out your lenses if you have more than one camera lens to play with, especially if you get into vintage lenses or heartlands is like I do. Take those photos with every different lens that you have. Take, you know, take a ton of photos with your first lens and then switch out the lens and start over again. Don't don't stop and switch the lens out for every, every photo I want you to take a group of photos and then switch out the lens and try again. But I just want to give you some ideas. And this was two stacks of roses and some rose petals all spread around to get my main flat lay photo and pulled back a little further. And I'm getting a bigger scene. And then here's where I'm kind of going back in different directions, in different angles. Maybe in some of the photos I even got really close on the rows heads. This one right here is particularly beautiful. That would have been a nice single shot if I'd gotten in close on that. Remember if I did or not. These are photos that I took over the course of a year. Every time I ordered flowers and decided I wanted to do a new set of photos. If it came if it came with roses, then I set up my flatly table and took another set of photos with whatever flowers that I happened to get. Oh, look, this one's real pretty to come in from the side, focused on a flower petal up front. So everything else is kinda thrown into blur. I love that movement back there. But yeah, every time I got flowers, this one's kinda on the angle. Actually don't know. I might not edit it that when I had some light coming in, but just kind of playing there, another angle coming in. So every time you get some flowers, set something up and play this one, I actually was using a different lens. And I can tell because up here in the corner, this was that Lensbaby sole lens with the texture plates close down because I can see that texture up here in that corner. This right here is what started out off my obsession with these roses. And it's the photo framed that I showed you there in the welcome video. But it's beautiful and it's almost three-dimensional and in-person. It almost is like you can reach out and grab that center rows. Looks so real. And this photo is the one that kinda makes me want to take another and another and another every time I get a new set of roses. And maybe they'll never be as good as my favorite. But the more you practice and the more you try, you never know you might end up with something you never expected. Something different, some cool. I think this one's really pretty with all just the pink roses. And then I started playing with some POPs. So there are some photos in the flat lays or abused other flowers. And this was a time when I could get some Paeony is a time of the year when they were blooming. And. These are my neighbours. She actually let me cut a couple of her stems to play with. And I thought, well, law of God, i'm, I'm gonna take as many pictures as I possibly can and I set him up, oh, my little flat lay table two. And then this is another Paeony variety. This is actually the Paeony that I grow right out here in my front yard. I have one random Paeony plant that was planted before I ever bought my condo. But out front and randomly it's bloomed every single year for me. And I'm like, I don't do anything special to it. It's just out there. It's not my favorite kind of Paeony. I really like these peonies that have all these petals in it. This is more of a single layer of petals that's in there with the bright yellow center. But right here where they're still kind of closed up, they were so very pretty that I cut three blooms and thought, Okay, time to, time to photograph the one Paeony flower that I grow. And this bright pink or red that these come in are actually a harder color to photograph because the pink or red actually comes out almost neon. They're almost too vivid. And so a lot of times when I go to Edit red and pink, I will desaturate the photo just a tiny bit to kind of knock off some of that glow that, that bright neon coloring that just doesn't even look real. It's weird and not a good way to me. So I I'm I not saturation down a couple of notches so that they come out pretty. But these are almost like flower portraits here that I've done with these. And I love how each one of these came out. Whether I did two flowers are three flowers kind of here on the little triangle for composition. And this one's more on the angle. So I want you to play with your compositions, with your flowers and see what you can come up with. And even a single flower portrait ends up beautiful. In this, this would be really pretty as a triptych. If I did the single, the double, the triple, I'd have a really beautiful triptych there in that set. Just was perfect. It was the perfect flower. And here's one where I've kinda triangle the flowers and then a nice setting where I had two different colors of flowers and I had six flowers and I thought, okay, what can I do with the sixth odd ball flower? Because usually you do things in odd numbers. And here I thought, well, let's just see what we can do. And I played with that composition. They're almost like it was bouquet of flowers rather than a flower portrait. And another one where I've got some peonies. These might have been some that are ordered in during Paeony season from an online flower resource because I think I had a dozen of them when I took this photo. So something that you could consider if you've got a bigger quantity of flowers, you know, try to fill the frame with the flowers. And then one thing that I mentioned briefly in one of the segments in class is this is a really great opportunity, especially if you're tethering to do hand in the frame as part of your flatly. So that's exactly what I've done here. I'm tethering on to my iPad with my wireless tethering device connected to my camera. And I'm getting everything positioned, getting the focus on the flower head where I wanted it, and then hitting the shutter button on my iPad with a little timer delay. So I had like 10 seconds to really nail it and see what my hands were doing and get that exactly in the composition and the position that I wanted. And then ten seconds then it's snapped the picture for me. The thing to think about when you're doing hand in the frame is you want to use a little bit of olive oil. Olive oil is what I use. You want your hands and nails to look moist and manicure, like they're fresh and have lotion on them. And obviously do this with olive oil. I'll put olive oil on my cuticles. I'll rub it into my hands real lightly so that my hands and my cuticles look like they're freshly manic cured, so don't take a picture with your hand in the frame. If your hand is all dry and your cuticles are dry, go get some olive oil and spread that on your cuticles and your hands and rub it in real good and then take your photos. And another one with the hand in the frame. A little bit different composition. And again, I've just got some pretty roses, different compositions. They are on the roses. Here's the to them showing in class is some examples of what the triangle and then kind of up and down, up and down. And then one with the hand and the frame. So again, I put olive oil on my hand and rubbed it in so that the hand looks nice and moist. And then I'm picking up a flower and focused on hand in the frame, I'm paying attention to where the hand is located, the position of my fingers. I want it to be a nice, elegant. Hand-holding frame, not something where my fingers are sticking out or it looks odd or something like that. So I'm kinda keeping all these things in mind as I'm tethering on my iPad, looking at my composition overall. And here's one. When we go through backdrops and I'll talk about using different backgrounds. This is one of those vinyl backgrounds that I showed you and you see how beautiful that turns out with the vinyl is the background. So if you've just got little vinyl backdrops, you can order some of those off of the Etsy. Etsy is probably my favorite source. These are little two foot by two foot, just random backdrops that I have purchased that I thought, ooh, these are pretty, and that's one of them. And it turns out as a great flatly piece. Same with using my wood floor. So that's on the wood floor itself all the way down on the floor. And look how beautiful that turns out. And here it is on the white chips wood background and that's actually a photograph that I took. So I do mention that you can take some of your own photos of surfaces and then have them printed and you can have those mounted to foam core board so that I can use them as a backer board in my photographs. And that's one of them. That's the side of a house that I took in printed. And look how beautiful that is as a backdrop for something like this. And this is another one, a texture photo that I have printed out and mounted and used as a backdrop. And I love that textured background behind stuff too, so that's fun. And another one hand in the frame, just kinda positioning the roses were I thought they looked the most pleasing olive oil to my hand up and then tethered to take that photograph and get everything positioned exactly where I wanted it. You can do photos like this with like a remote. If you don't want a tether, you can get everything set up, get down on the floor, and then snap the picture with your remote. I just feel like I'm doing it a little more blind that way. And maybe I'll get the photo I want or maybe I'll have to take the photo 15 times before I end up with one that I'm happy with. So I just find tethering made that a little easier for me. And I tried putting my hand here in a different spot on the photo, just kinda playing, wouldn't say that's my favorite. But I did experiment. I did like this one better with the hand in the frame. And last one here with the hand in the frame and putting some of the flower petals down as your background. And same without the hand, almost too busy, without the hand with all the flowers and the petals that kinda runs together. But just fun to experiment and give you some ideas on some different things that you might consider for your flatline. So I hope you enjoyed this little run-through of all the ones that I've played with and experimented in the last year or so. And I'll see you back in class. 4. Background choices: Let's talk about different backgrounds that you can use for your beautiful flower arose bluntly. So what I'm looking at here is some vinyl backdrops. And normally I love real wood backdrops and the depth than age that you get on a weathered would antique kinda surface. But when I did a bunch of these type photos for myself, playing with different backgrounds and different roses. And I discovered that I went to the vinyl backdrops almost as much as the real wood background. So I just thought I would kinda show you some of the options on the vinyl backdrops. I'm shooting on a two-by-two vinyl backdrop. So these are about two feet wide and two feet long, so they are very small. And these are fairly inexpensive. If you get a backdrop this small, which is a great size for a flat lay or some project like we're doing here today. And I love this one because it looks like antique wallpaper on a wall. So that was one of my favorites and I used this one, not so much. So when you're looking at backdrops and evaluating whether you're going to like the surface or not. If it's got so much going on and then you put a flower, say on top of that surface. I think that what you're going to find is that really no element has its chance to shine. So for instance, if I've got the rows Almere, look okay, but I really think in evaluating the backdrops, I like that one better. But that's personal preference. And you're only going to discover some of your preferences by actually doing some of this work. So here looking at backdrops and something really jumps out at you, try it by it, give it, give it a test run. You never know. This was that same wallpaper and a half brick wall. Not my favorite for this project, but I do love this particular buffer around a faux wood surface. Those work particularly well because I liked the flowers and the woods surfaces. Anyway, especially like my table that we're going to get to here in a moment. So if you don't have a real beat up wood surface, a faux wood surface will definitely do a good job for you. And that's a darker one. And I have a lighter one. So it depends on if you're going for dark and moody like I'm going for, or if you're going for lightened bright and maybe you want to go with something in the white or the lighter color range. And then this is kinda more medium tones. Now my favorite kinda color tone. But it is pretty for a backdrop or maybe some other projects. Really totally getting into personal preference, your own style, which one jumps out at, you know, which one doesn't. To figure out which ones of these are going to work for you. Now, something like this. It's almost too busy. But when I put the rows on it, I don't hate it. So just have to give it a try out and see what you like. Issues like. And he kind of wood door shutter kind of things. And then a really more weathered got the chipping paint on it. That's a fun surface. This is my favorite surface and it's a beat up antique table that I got off of Etsy or maybe I got it out. Yeah, I got off, ETC. And it isn't 19 hundreds salesmen sample of a dining table would drop leaves on it. So both of the leafs on this table drop-down. And this was in somebody's attic and a grandparent passed away and came up as an item for sale that the person wasn't gonna keep an eye about how to fit. This is the most amazing texture and grunge. And who knows what is going on the top of that table over the last 120 years. But it's so delicious to photograph things on top of. And as soon as I set my flowers on top of that, I knew immediately that was the surface I wanted to photograph one. So keep your eyes open when you're on Etsy or eBay or at the antique market, any kind of small table like this, like this is only a foot and a half off the floor, so it's very low to the floor, which I kind of like because now the light comes in from the window a little above it, but from the side, which is very interesting for the lighting. And I can put this up on a bigger table if I need it to be up a little higher to work with it. And it's just such a yummy surface. So be looking around for the beat up would services, even if I just had this two-by-two top without the base on it, that'd be a great photography board. So I could eventually take the base off this and then set this on any surface I wanted to use it on, that would be great. The other surface that I love using is this wood floor that made a really beautiful photograph twos. So if you've got real pretty wood floors and mind, you know, setting up your Project on the floor by a window. That's a great surface. Another good surface. Let me go grab one. So it would be some type of wood photography we'll word that you've either created or purchased or come across at the antique store. What I like about these is there size on this one is a two foot by three foot, and it's perfect for a project like this because I can move it around and photograph whatever I want right here on the surface. And you can, you can make are bodies and lots of different finishes. If you're looking for photography boards online. And the last one I want to show you is a printed photo, man at all and some foam core board. And that's a great surface to photograph all. So if you go out and you find the most amazing set of shutters or doors or wood on the side of a house. And you think, Wow, look at that great texture and color and I love everything about it. And you're like, man, I wish I had that as a photography board. Well, you can. So what I recommend is you take photos of that surface, kind of true to life size of how much you want to print them. So let's say you want to print them 20 inches, about 30 inches. So what I would do is measure with my measuring tape on, say the wall on the side of the house, I'd measure 20 inches to figure out like how much space that is. And I would fill my camera frame with 20 inches. I would get right up close to it. Fill the frame with about the size I want to print this. And then when I send it to the printer, I would print it about the size I had my mind. So if I'm working with 24 by 36, like on these photography boards, and that's the size I want to print these out. Then I would take a section of the wall, I'd get it close enough where I had two feet worth of wall by three, the fourth wall in the frame of my camera. And I would take that picture and I would take it on or at least an F8. So that all the details and everything that I wanted to be in focus was actually in focus. And then when you print these, you want to print it on MAT or satin photo paper. So this is on SAT and paper. Some printers don't offer like a true flat. So you'd get like an egg shell or satin. And you can see here some glare on it. But if we tilt these just a little bit or where it's positioned differently in the light depending on where we are. The glare doesn't make any difference when I have my camera shining down on the surface. So that is some of my recommendations on different services that you might consider shooting on. You might look at vinyl backdrops. You can print your own surface photography board. Some type of real phone would surface you find at say the antique market. Or if you've got some wood floors that you love, sit right up on the floor. All right. I'll see you back in class. 5. Styling our flat lay: Let's talk about styling our set. So for this particular project, I like to use five flowers. And in this case, the roses have become my flower of choice when I'm doing this flat lay photo for the flowers. And what I like with the five flowers is now I have a chance to kind of style where I want those flowers to go. And you'll notice as I'm laying on there, There's a lot of leaves still on these flowers that are kinda distracting. So I want to take off the most, most of the leaves really, I want to take off all the leaves that are further down. I might leave one randomly on some of my flowers, but I don't want to leave most of the leaves there. I want to pull off any of the ones that are folded down. And then maybe I will strategically come back in and place some of these that we've pulled off and still use them so don't throw them out. I want to be careful not to have them sitting under the flower really at a one to be so distracting that they look strange. And I want to keep, well, I pick out these flowers behind me. When I pick out these roses, I want to have long stems. So if you go to a florist and they try to cut the stem short, Anya? Tell him no, you want long stemmed? And so what I like when I framed this out, I like the flower head and the bottom of the stem to be in the frame. And I want the flowers at this point to probably be fairly fresh. No brown and peeling spots on the petals. If you've got owl, that one had thorns. If you've got a petal that looks particularly bad, go ahead and pull that off. These don't look too bad. I've had him for a day or two so they can open up like the stems to be as straight as possible. And then the prettiest flower, I want to be, the sinner he row. So I'm just going to visually adjust and figure out what's the best layout that I like. And as I've taken many of these, as each time I got roses, I'm like, ooh, let me go to a rose, but OK. I actually started experimenting with the composition. So I like this composition. I also like it when you bring it down and you have like the flower heads in a row and they're kind of going up and down. You can also do a composition where there in reverse. And you have a nice V going rather than the original where we have like an arrowhead going. So get creative. Play with the different elements that you've got and decide what's the layout that's appealing to you the most. This is also the perfect type layout. You want to practice with your hand in the frame. And I've taken several of those also. And what I'll generally do is kind of sit by the table and I'll have my hand in the frame as I'm down low. And then maybe I'm holding a flower and I'm taking that photo of that setup with my hand in the frame. And I've done this particular setup with lots of different types. Flowers I like peonies. Roses are great. You could do tulips. You could probably do calla lily, so has some calories in this bunch. If you want to get real creative. And you had enough flowers, you could throw in a few other elements in there. As you're experimenting with your layouts. Those would be fun. And just kind of think, you know, take the photos and just be thinking, what's the best lighting, what's the best composition? Let me move these around. When we trade the flowers in and out from where I haven't. Maybe I want the flowers to be set up with the bigger bloomed ones are further. So play with them. I liked the two tone roses when I do stuff like this because they dry really pretty and then I can keep taking photos with them, but get creative and play with this. So I'm going to set these back up, take some photos of them, and then play around a bit and just see what I get. 6. Shooting with natural light by a window: Let's talk about the lighting of this setup. I'm set up by my window here in my studio. And I'll show you like a pullback of that real quick. And what I've got is combine the window and the window has Kirtland are kinda closed because it's pretty bright out. And there's a photography scrim in this window. And the reason why I have the Scrum and the window, because if I take this grew out of the window and I opened the curtain, look how bright and harsh the light coming in on that picture is. And to really get an understanding of the light, It's, it'd be really great if you took this photo with the bright harsh sunlight on it. And then took this photo with say, the curtains closed a bit. And then took this photo with the square him in the window. And just see which of those layouts, which of those lighting settings on your computer do you end up thinking looks the best? And I'm using natural light for this setup. So I have all the lights in the room off and I'm pulled right up within about a foot of the window. And I'm only going to have the natural light on this brain. And the way that I have this setup, the light is kinda coming in here from the side a little tiny bit above it because I'm sitting below the window. I'm going to have the yummy side lighting with all the shadow here on the right side. If I wanted to do a photo where I had backlighting and I wanted the light coming in, you know, backlighting the photo. I could rearrange this setup this way. And then the light would be hitting the top of flowers and coming down the stems. And just as a side note, when I threw those down like that, the cow pre the little stems crossing over each other. Just did. That might be something you consider. If you've got stems that are quite straight, maybe crisscrossing the stems to make an interesting pattern would be really cool for your photo. And I didn't try that when I took lots of these flower photos in the past. And some of these are not straight stems. So in that styling might consider crisscrossing those and see if I like that layout. So when you're set up in a window, you set up by the window you've decided to photograph in. And I want you to diffuse the light. Take a picture with the harsh light if you want to see the difference in the outcome at the end. And I want you to diffuse the light, turned the lights in the room off and shoot this photo, would just the natural light. 7. My behind-the-scenes camera setup: So let's talk about the set-up that I have going on here to take this photo. Now, if you want to stand over the photo and handhold the photo and just shoot straight down. Definitely try that out. But the older I get when I'm taking photographs, less than a hurry. I am. So at this point, I've already done the years and years and years of hand-holding and taking a thousand photos, trying to get the one great photo and standing over things until my back hurts so bad I couldn't stand up straight again. And doing all the things what I would really consider the hard way. No working harder, not smarter way for me. And I have decided on these flat lays, it's much easier to use a tripod with a boom arm. And that's boom, the 0, 0. And that is the telescoping arm that comes out 90 degrees from the tripod. And that makes this job so much easier. What would really make it nice on that camera that I have? Because if it had a flip screen and the screen flipped up and then I wouldn't try and to look through the eyepiece. And so I found that kinda difficult to end. At some point, I decided to start tethering my camera to my iPad or my computer. And you can tether your camera in many different ways if you don't have the capability in camera like a lot of the new cameras do now. You can tether with wireless tethering devices, which is what I use. I've got the KM phi CA MFI wireless tethering device that hooks right on the top of the camera and plugs right in. And then it talks to the cam by app on my iPad. And then I control the camera from my iPad. I can see the scene that's going on. I can focus my lens so that my focus is perfect. And then I can take the photo from the iPad and do everything from that wireless tethering so that I'm not touching the camera the whole time causing any kind of shake. That's my very favorite way to take the photo. Because when you're looking at the photo through the little tiny eyepiece as you're standing over it. And it's really hard to decide if that composition is dead on exactly where you want it. Whereas if you're looking at it on a bigger screen like your iPad, you could get over there and move those roses around and tweak that layout until it's absolutely perfect. Looks really great for composition. Everything's exactly where you want it with the extra leaves that you added in. You'll take that picture once or twice, and then you've got the the picture that you wanted and that's so much easier to me then stand and over the phone, over the setup for an hour or snap, snap, snap, snap in. And then look and think and non-sterile haven't let me try again or miss the focus. The focus is in the wrong place or the layouts wrong, or I was looking crooked, so it's slightly skewed and you just kind of eliminate all those extra steps in the photo. And so I really get the most beautiful ones when I'm, when I take a moment to set it all up, put that camera on that tripod where the arm telescopes out, tether it to my iPad so I can tweak it just right. And then I can comfortably be sitting in a chair taking that photo. And then you can see my pullback of my scene here also, where we're in the window and there's enough light coming in because you can see how that light is reflecting on the curtain. There's enough light coming in that I needed to diffuse that off the table itself. So I do have that round reflector diffuser sitting there, so I don't have harsh light on that table setup. Now reflecting through that curtain because that curtains thin enough for the light to come through, but still is a good diffusing agent. If I wanted the roses with a little bit of sunlight on it, but not super harsh, like it would be if I opened the curtains, I could move the diffuser, leave the curtain shut and get a little bit of the sunlight streaming on the flowers. And that might be pretty because it's still kinda diffused. Just a personal preference and choice there. So just wanted to give you a little look at my setup. Talk about tethering. If you've got a camera that's got the Wi-Fi in it that already connects to its own Apple on your computer or your tablet. Use it in the newer cameras have that. You can also tether with a tethering cable. I mean, there's so many choices out there that there's no way for me to really tell you what's the best for you. There are just a lot of tethering options. And if that sounded interesting and definitely look further into that. All right, I'll see you back in class. 8. Tethering and Camera Settings: All right, so I want to talk about tethering a moment more as I talk about camera settings. So I just showed you that we're setup still. I tweaked it a little bit as I was going, but I got the campfire hooked up so I could kinda show you what that looks like tethered here on my iPad. And why I really loved this is because now it's much larger for me to see. And I can zoom in on that flower and nail the focus of whatever it was I was trying to get him focus. I can now adjust my camera while I'm looking at the iPad. And I can get to focus exact, exact because I'm using manual lenses when I'm shooting. The same today, I'm using the Lensbaby velvet and maybe my eyesight's not what it used to be. Or looking overhead at this camera angle. It's kind of hard because I don't know, you're standing over it, you're looking down, maybe you can't really get a clear sight in your screen there. And on here I can nail the focus on the head exactly where I want it and I love it. And I can kind of adjust all the little flower stems. If I think, oh, there's an open spot right here, I could go get some leaves and fill that in and I can just make all my adjustments and then take that photo and keeping in mind camera settings. So I want to have great exposure. I want the ISO and the, the, the f-stop and my shutter speed to all work in conjunction to give me a beautifully exposed photo. So to do that, I want the ISO normally be between one hundred and four hundred so that I get not too much grain. And if you're on a really nice camera and you can go higher than that, it not be very grainy. Then that's the decision that you can make. And also wanna make sure that the f-stop is at the right place for the amount of blur that I want for this setup. So if I want all the rows is invoke is maybe I need to be at an F8 or something along there if I want the main flower and focus the head kind of thing, but the background to fall into a little bit of blur. Maybe I want to be on an F4. And if I want it to be like really blurred and kind of glowy for this lens. Maybe I want to be on the 2.8, I prefer. And you can see the sun kind of going in and out. So you can see your exposure varying a little bit. But I prefer the flower to be and heads to be in bogus, so on beyond about an F or for my own preference on these photos. And then once I know that I've gotta have an ISO of say 200 and f-stop of say, F4. Then the only other decision that I gotta make is how fast does that shutter need to go to give me a properly exposed photo? So I had it set up when we started this video at one talk to on one 125th of a second. But we can see now the light has gone in a little bit and I wouldn't need to change that to probably 180, it's of a second or 160th of a second. So being able to see this on my screen and judge what exactly I want that exposure to look like really makes that nice and easy for us. And then you can see I can just take that photo right there on the screen and then move to the next photo. So I really love tethering. I like to get the exposure right in camera. So I'm usually going to be adjusting those settings as I go, working it as I go so that I've got great exposure. And if I move that, square him out of the way, you can see some, some brighter light come in on our scene. And you can kinda see on the iPad what that light does. And you can see, we really don't want that stream of light, so I need to go and close the curtain a little bit more. But it's kind of pretty on the rest of it. So if I go and close that gap, having that little bit of light on this setting might be pretty today. So I might test that out just to see. And then I might open it all the way up and getting a good harsh picture just to show you the difference. So that's my little spiel on camera settings. Decide how much blur you want and that's your f-stop. And to do that, I do little tests with my photos at F2 and F4 and F8 and just see how much blur do I want. And then I'll do little tests on ISO at one hundred, two hundred, four hundred, eight hundred or thousand and see which one is just too grainy. And I'll stay below that. And the shutter speed is just how much that shutter speed needs to be sped up or slowed down, depending on those other two numbers. And how much light that I've got coming in that window when it goes behind the McLeod's and it's really cloudy, not shutter speeds. You got to slow down because it's got to stay open a little bit longer to let that light in to get the good exposure. But when the Sun pops out behind from a 100 clouds and it's shining in like it is nail. Well, I got plenty of light so I can speed that shutter speed up, get that photo a little faster and still have a properly exposed photo. All right, I'll see you back in class. 9. Shoot recap & Editing in Lightroom: So I thought it would be fun to go through and edit one of the photos that we took of this exact set that I was just showing you. And if you zoom in really good, you can see are really nailed the focus on that with the tethering. And this particular table has big lines in it where the leafs come up and then you have a line in it. So a lot of times if I'm shooting a little closer up, I will try to shoot the flowers in between those lines so that I can crop the lines out. Sometimes before I get to that, I will come down here to the transform window and I will hit the auto button. Because when you're shooting straight down on something, sometimes maybe you're not as straight as you think because I didn't have a level set on that camera. And so if you hit that auto transform, it might pull some of the distortion out for you. This is generally that transform feature that when you're taking a photo of a tall building from the ground and the building looks distorted the further up it goes, this helps you undistorted those buildings. And it's the same concept here on a flat lay. I like to come down and just hit the auto and see if it straightens and tightens up that photo better for me. And if I don't like it, I can always turn it back off. But you can see I must have been slightly tilted because it's not as straight as it could be. So I'm going to leave that on auto for that. And then go back up here to the basic and start tweaking our photo. I'm actually going to crop that in. I don't want these lines in the photo and I'm gonna kinda hit the Shift, Shift key to retain my ratio. I'm just going to decide. I just want to crop the lines out. So either going to include the lines on purpose and take that photo with the intent of the lines being there or I'm going to take my photo inside the lines with the intent of cropping them out. And with these particular photos, I do like to crop those out. And I'm just going to go through and tweak wherever it is that after like maybe it needs it as I'm going down. So in the basic panel, I'm tweaking some different things here, just eyeballing it to see where I'd like to have it. And I may go back and change those and tweak them again. And I might add some clarity, little bit of texture. Maybe I want to add some vibrance, but in one of the other videos I mentioned, pink and red are sometimes harder to photograph, especially if the entire flower is bright pink or bright red. And in that instance, I'll come right down to this little desaturation button, and I'll just come down a little bit on the saturation of that two or three or 10 little points and just pull the knock-off, the intensity of the pink or red. Because sometimes, you know, the whole flower is red. It's, it's almost neon and it looks weird. And if you'll be saturate that a tiny bit, you'll make that flower look a lot better in this photo. So I'm going to keep going. I'm always throw a curve on these. I'll start off with maybe three control points here. And then I'm going to make it Matt. Matt, because I like the madness. Delete that point. I accidentally added, I want it to be a little more matte. I like the madness. It's a little more film like. And as I go down, I may go back up to the top and adjust some of those sliders again. And I always go the detail and on up the sharpening. And we can be right here on our flower if you want to see how much that sharpens. And then I'm holding down my Option key on a Mac, alt key on a PC, the Option or Alt button there. And I'm going to mask it off because currently everything is included in the mask. So you're, you're going to be sharpening every single pixel in the photo, which might add some grain that you didn't intend, and I don't wanna do that. So if you mask it off while you're holding that button down, moving that mask button, you can see exactly what's being sharpened. And now I'm not over sharpening every pixel in the drawing. So hold down the Option Alt key and you'll see what's being masked. And mask it off to where just the details are showing up there for you. And if you have any noise, you can make things with the noise reduction here. If it's too noisy, you know, you gotta be careful with that button because if I push it all the way up, it makes the whole picture look plastic. So because sparing with that button I've seen people before in videos say I just push it to a 100 every time. And I think, Oh my goodness, I like to come down to the effects on these and I do want to vignette, I wanted a fairly large midpoint that's rounded. And I want to kinda pull the eye in by darkening the corners. And I can determine how feathered that is here. You can see exactly what that is. I would like it nice and feathered. And then I might go back to the very top here and start tweaking again just to get my final final thing in. And it's almost, I don't know that I like the vibrance up and I may want to desaturate it just a little bit because it's almost very vivid and color in its own. So that's really pretty right there. Just make sure I've got everything here where I want it and may want less contrast and weather than more contrast. Let's see. So I'd just like to go through and be like, Do I like this or do I like that? And then if I've got any spots that I want to heal off my photo. Like there are a few spots on here that could be healed on that table. I actually prefer to do that in Photoshop, but I don't know that I'm going to do that in Photoshop today because I don't plan on doing anything else to the photo beyond what we're doing. So might see what these look like. Do it and doing it in Lightroom, a preferred in Photoshop because I feel like the Spot Heal works better in Photoshop for those little spots that I was doing right there that took care of what I needed. And I could get the ones out here that are bigger on this table. These are actual spots from the manufacturer of the table. Manufacturing of the table, but yeah, yes. Yeah, that looks good. So take off any blemishes you can, you know, before you're finished. Sometimes I'll put this in Photoshop and do an extra layer of sharpening. And maybe I'll add a texture and just see what I like. But for these flat lays, I generally like a really yummy Edit and I'll call that a day. So here is our photo that I set up. I hope you enjoyed walking through the editing and I will see you back in class. 10. Final thoughts: Wow. So now you've taken the class. I hope that you have been inspired to set up a flower flatly near a window in your own home and taking some photos. And then I would really love if you went back to your class assignment and make sure that you come back and share at least one of the photos that you took of your flatly. So I have really loved having you in class. I hope you enjoy and are inspired by this particular subject. And I'll see you next time.