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Bleeding Heart

The Dicentra Spectabilis or “Bleeding Heart”  is a truly stunning flower and since planting it in our garden as a tiny sapling about three years ago, it has presented us with a resplendent display of delicate pink flowers, year in, year out. In fact it has taken over an entire bed in our garden. We had to put some stakes in today so that we could keep the plant steady and secure, worried that it will eventually collapse under it’s own weight.

In order to take these shots I decided to bring a cutting taken from the plant indoors, so that I could photograph it under studio conditions. The studio in this instance was our kitchen, a room that has plenty of natural window light, even on a day when it wasn’t great weather outdoors. The setup was simple:

  • A clothes airer
  • A black tee-shirt draped over the airer to form the black backdrop
  • A Wimberley Plamp mounted on the airer and holding the cutting perfectly still in front of the camera
  • Nikon D300
  • Tamron 90mm lens
  • Cable release
  • Manfrotto tripod

I experimented with the D300 live-view feature a little bit today instead of using the viewfinder and it proved to be a great success, allowing me to concentrate more on my compositions and selective focus of the subject. I normally work predominantly with viewfinders but I fancied trying it out and may use it from time to time in the future. I found that working on the subject indoors had it’s advantages and the most noticeable being the lack of a breeze! I could keep my specimen perfectly still and above all replant it somewhere else in the garden afterwards.

Post-production work was fairly light in Lightroom. I boosted the “blacks” to make the background a punchier black and tweaked the saturation to really bring out the beautiful colour of the flowers.

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