“Is this the way to Amaryllis”?

We have an amaryllis growing in the kitchen; it was a Christmas gift from a friend.  It’s coming along nicely, and a few days ago it was lit by the early morning sun.  I loved the rim lighting, and thought I would try and capture it.

The plant is growing near the window, hence the lovely light, but the background was very fussy.  I went and got a bit of black card and leant it against the window behind the plant.  That simplified the composition a lot and gave good contrast for the rim lighting.  It was much better, but the leaves in shadow were lacking in detail.  If I increased the overall exposure to get that detail the light on the edges of the leaves got too bright, so that wasn’t an option. The solution was to add a bit more light to the foreground with a reflector.  The nearest thing to hand was the brass bowl from our kitchen scales.  It added the perfect amount of light, and its gold colour warmed up the foreground tones.

It just goes to show that you don’t need expensive studio equipment or lights.  Just use what’s to hand and see how you can really change an image.