Thursday, February 23, 2012

Here Comes the Sun..............

I want to share a little of the "behind the scenes" preparation that went into setting up for my flower workshop and the images I shared on Tuesday.  Before I do that, I must explain how the seasonal change in the angle of the sun brought with it a couple of challenges.  As a photographer I pay attention to this sort of thing and love the winter light. Outside that is......not so much in my studio.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I moved into my studio last May and was delighted to discover that the large south facing windows were perfect for setting up my backdrops and photographing flowers. I had a flawless system all summer.

Then I started noticing a difference in the quality of light streaming through those same windows. It had become harsh and direct. Not only would this be a problem for the flower workshop I had scheduled in February, but it would also prove to be an issue for my hand coloring classes as well.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I was setting up for one class last fall when there were still a few leaves on the trees. Combine these leaves with a slight breeze and the angle of the sun and what you had on the tables reminded me of the laser light shows I use to go to in the 70's. This was not going to work without some sort of way to block the windows. I experimented for the hand coloring classes and made it work, but I knew the sun was still going to be a problem in February and was concerned about how I was going to set up for the flower workshop.

I do most of my flower photography using window light, but it must be diffused and soft. I solved the winter light problem by buying tension shower curtain rods that could be temporarily placed in the bay windows with white shower curtains. (The "temporary" part is important....ask my studio mates.) All for under $25!

For the rest of the setup I used backdrops that I bought from Table Top Studios (you can also use any fabric), florist foam or vases and a white board as a reflector. It's fairly simple (and a lot of fun!)

It's easier to just show photos. This is the set up for the two images in this post.

I can't wait to start hand coloring some of these tulip photographs. I am really feeling the need for some quiet time and I can't think of a better way to get that than hand coloring................


  1. first, i absolutely love your work. the quality of the images mesmerizes me. just beautiful!
    and second, thank you for the info on how you set it up. i can't wait for a slice of quiet time to practice what you shared - lots to play with, so much to learn. thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you so much Marie! Have fun and keep me posted!

  3. This is interesting Dianne. I was trying to photograph some watercolors of tulips with my husband and ran into a similar problem. Monty tried to solve it with some styrofoam wrapping at the time--but I think you've nailed a great solution which I'll pass on to him. Your tulips are drop dead gorgeous!

  4. Thank you Hannah! Can't wait to see your paintings!

  5. Love seeing your set up, Dianne. I have a skylight and 2 windows in my studio and my light changes with the seasons as well. I have to shoot at different times of the day as the seasons progress to get the perfect amount and angle of light from the skylight.

    I also learned something from your set up I'm going to steal! The stand for your flowers. Great idea! I have two jewelry soldering clamps that work great for small flowers, but are a more problematic for larger.

  6. Thanks Leslie!I am always learning from you so I am happy you were able to get something from my post!Your floral images are amazing!