Working as a Photographer takes me to many different places and I get to meet lots of people with a wide range of interests. When the Norfolk Bonsai Association contacted me and asked if I could come along to get some shots of their trees I jumped at the chance to try something new.
I was warmly welcomed by the people attending the event and they all took a great deal of interest in how I was setting up my kit. I set up a small studio in the bar of the Village Hall where the Association holds its meetings and used a 3 strobe, gridded lighting set up. Throughout the evening members brought through their trees and we spent some time on each to get the right shot for them. I tethered the camera to my Surface so they could check out the shot before we moved on to the next tree.
They clearly give these small trees a great deal of care and I was keen to make sure I did my best to represent this in the images. I learnt a lot about what makes a good bonsai tree and that the gaps between the foliage pads was as important as the tree itself. We found that focal lengths greater than 50mm diminished the gaps and also the angle of the camera also dramatically changed the way the tree looked. After a few adjustments we managed to get a workflow together and we managed to get through the majority of the trees being shown that evening.
There were a few surprises as not all of the trees were as small as I had expected. A few were fairly large and it was a struggle to light them evenly. A bit of time in Photoshop after the shoot was needed to even out the light and clean up the background.
If you are interested in finding more out about the Norfolk Bonsai Association please give them a shout on Facebook at: @norfolkbonsai
All in all, I am pleased with the results and it was a great opportunity to learn about what makes a great image when it comes to Bonsai trees.