Red and black

Despite the fact that buying roses on Valentine's Day could easily nudge the old bank account into the red, I've come to realize it is one of those things that simply must be done. And afterward, I'm always happy I did it. She's overly happy, the folks at Floral Elegance are always terrific, and the finished product really is very pretty... as far as a guy can determine these kinds of things anyway.

I've always liked the colors of red and black together, so this was a picture in my mind before I even pulled out the camera.... or picked up the flowers for that matter (which involved me driving right past the place and having to turn around). It also gave me a chance to practice a little more with specular highlights. They are the "right answer" to the geometry problem that is the reflection of a light "source" in the surface of something shiny and they convey the texture of the surface to you. In this case, you can see the specular highlights I created in the glass vase by lighting the white foamcore (posterboard-type things) on each side of the vase with flashes underneath the table, which (hopefully) show you the smooth and shiny surface of the glass vase... but they don't really show you much else about it.

At least, that is what I was going for. I didn't want to take away too much attention from the flowers, just give you a hint that there is a vase there so the flowers aren't floating in mid air... minimalism, or in my case, Keep It Simple, Stupid.
Strobist info: Roses are lit with an SB-800 in a homemade black straw grid from directly overhead, zoomed to 105mm, and fired at 1/16 power. Vase is "lit" indirectly by bouncing two flashes (SB-600 & SB-25) in homemade cardboard snoots off of white foamcore to camera left and right from under the table, fired at 1/32 power.

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