Cyclamen and Window Lighting

February 23rd, 2012 by Denise Ippolito


Image © 2012/Denise Ippolito Photography
Canon 5D, Canon 100mm Macro lens, 1/50 sec. at f/6.3, ISO 400


I photographed this Cyclamen with the use of natural light and a window!

Many folks ask do I “exactly” use the window as a light source. Well I place my subject close to the window. I position a reflector behind the flower so that it bounces some light onto the other side of the flower to “even out” the lighting. Once I am happy with the lighting I start to look for the background. By positioning my camera up/down or sideways to include the part of the background I like.

For the example image above I used the grass for the green background so I had my camera and lens positioned downward. If I wanted a blue or white background I would have positioned it towards the sky. Next I make sure that the background will be blurred. Because I am shooting from a window chances are my subject and background are far enough apart that I can use an f/8 or even an f/13 with out any problem of bringing in “too much detail” from the background. However I wanted the flower to be a little softer so I stayed with an f/6.3. Why a little softer? Well, in my opinion flowers are pretty and they lend themselves nicely to a softer look. If you get every detail in focus sometimes you will portray a hard look with out it being your intention. The same is true if you over sharpen or over contrast your flower images or even if you over-saturate your images. There is no right or wrong it is just a matter or preference and I prefer my flowers on the Softer Side.

To learn more about creating a softer look for your flower images check out my eBook “The Softer Side of Macro”

You can see Denise’s website at



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