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Invisible Black Background: Flowers
Lens: Sigma 28mm f/2.8 Macro Camera: Pentax K-7 Photo Location: My apartment complex ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/150s Aperture: F11 
Posted By: alstauffer, 04-03-2012, 12:02 PM

My K-7 arrived yesterday and I was reading earlier in the day about how to create the 'invisible black background' even in daylight just by using a high sync speed and off camera flash. It had been a while since I had played with my off-camera flashes, so I went for a walk around my apartment complex for a few minutes between classes to see what I could do I was using a cheap ($25 ebay) Sigma 28mm Macro all-manual lens that I also just got, so I had to set focus, hold the flash off with one hand, and slowly move the camera forward/backward to get focus before shooting.

After some light PP, here are the two I kept:






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04-03-2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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Great technique and images! Wonderful texture and colors.
04-03-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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Really like these a lot, especially #2. I can see how you could have got the dark effect in #1, with maybe a more distant background, but how did you do it in #2? It's as if your flash only illuminated a volume the size of a basketball. Looks really cool. Did you get that effect in PP?
04-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dice Quote
Great technique and images! Wonderful texture and colors.
Thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by GeoJerry Quote
Really like these a lot, especially #2. I can see how you could have got the dark effect in #1, with maybe a more distant background, but how did you do it in #2? It's as if your flash only illuminated a volume the size of a basketball. Looks really cool. Did you get that effect in PP?
Thanks, Jerry! For number 1, the background was actually fairly close, I wasn't sure it would work; a brick wall to another apartment unit abut a foot and a half behind the flower. I held the flash so that my hand blocked light from straying too far towards the building.

For number 2, I admittedly 'cheated' and used some PP to shrink the lighted area, but I used index cards taped on the flash head to form the beam so it wasn't too too far off of the truth, haha. Once I get home I will upload the original to show how much I took out in post.

04-03-2012, 12:36 PM   #5
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Nice. Isn't digital just grand. Although the old darkroom was fun too.
04-03-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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both really nice shots, interesting technique, something for me to think about! TFS.

cheers
04-03-2012, 03:36 PM   #7
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Both images turned out extremely good and the contrasts are excellent.
04-04-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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Like both. Lovely colors and the invisible black background is perfect.

04-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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These are both fantastic, Allen! Great job! I particularly love the second shot. Great technique with fantastic results.
04-04-2012, 07:05 PM   #10
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As requested, here's the original:

I guess I did more PP than I thought

QuoteOriginally posted by Den Quote
Nice. Isn't digital just grand. Although the old darkroom was fun too.
Digital's great! Unfortunately I've only developed pictures once, and they didn't turn out so great, I am only recently into photography, so I mostly skipped film.

QuoteOriginally posted by Cee Cee Quote
both really nice shots, interesting technique, something for me to think about! TFS.

cheers
Thank you! After reading about it I wasn't so sure I would be able to do it, but it was pretty easy once I got out there and tried it.

QuoteOriginally posted by eaglem Quote
Both images turned out extremely good and the contrasts are excellent.
Thanks

QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
Like both. Lovely colors and the invisible black background is perfect.
Thank you

QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
These are both fantastic, Allen! Great job! I particularly love the second shot. Great technique with fantastic results.
Thanks again Lori! I can't wait to give this technique a shot on the cats; if they'll sit still long enough, that is, haha.
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