Tulip Glow–Wins place in 2011 Microsoft Photo Book #365Project

When I embarked on my 365 Project this year I didn’t know what to expect – apart from allot of learning. What I certainly didn’t expect was that an intentional, architected, photo of the day would make it through the selection process into the 2011 Microsoft Photo Book (an effort by the photographers @ Microsoft that raises money for charity). I always thought that it would be my more grandiose attempts. Smile

I’m excited to announce the Tulip Glow has made it into the book – I’m even more excited to say THANK YOU to all my friends and followers who helped select the photo by voting on my initial selections.

Photographers interested in the ‘how’ can see a description of this photos project below the photo itself.

Some facts about this photo;

  • It started as a ‘desperation shot’ for my 365 Project. It was late, I hadn’t taken any other photos that day. My aim was to get something ‘quick’. As I started exploring the fresh flowers my wife had bought.
  • It was shot with a Canon 5D MKII + 100mm F2.8L Lens
  • The primary lighting was an overhead halogen spotlight. Other light sources were the highly reflective metal table (Diner Style) and the main kitchen light (a double CFL).
  • It is three blended exposures (HDR, Photomatix) – This enabled me to get rich detail in the highlights and keep all the shadow detail. Single exposures lacked not just dynamic range but also depth of detail in the subtle grooves of the petals.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom was used for minor touch up
  • It was photographed against a red wall in my kitchen (see below for set up shot) the high f-stop used resulted in such a reduction of the depth of field little was visible beyond the subject.
  • The tulip was purple but I opted for a slight shift in tint to get a red final product
  • …I spent an inordinate amount of time fiddling with the flowers to get a composition that I liked. Quite amazing actually how many iterations of one Tulip there are. Angles, petal arrangement, lighting (how is it filling the Tulip, hitting the tulip?). And the biggest challenge of all – getting some essence of leaves and stem to provide context and pleasant framing. Experiments without the leaves just didn’t have the same story for me. Smile


Set up shot:

HDR Tulip Glow Setup Shot

4 thoughts on “Tulip Glow–Wins place in 2011 Microsoft Photo Book #365Project

  1. Whilst I admire the toolip shot, I must say I prefer you photograph entitled ‘the set=up shot’. Everything about that shot screams real life to me, whilst the lonely dutch flower shouts fake.

    The shadow creeping on to the diner table, in the bottom left, the angle of the camera, suggestively angled, standing there like a proud male organ pointing towards its prey, the salt and pepper sitting in unison underneath the hung banana’s, the box of tissues ready to assist, the set up shot truly has it all.

    And for that, I commend you sir.



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