CREATIVE FLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY – Flowers Emerging From The Dark

In his latest offering, Ray Scott has a different take on how to present flowers. In this video tutorial, the emphasis is on using underexposure techniques to show off flowers in literally a different light. The goal is to come up with photos that have drama, mood and that just look a whole lot different than “the usual” flower image. Ray mostly uses a black background, underexposes images by between 2 and 4 stops and uses the gradient tool in Lightroom to darken areas of the photo. As usual, experimentation is highly encouraged.

When in studio or in the field Ray uses Canon gear. This is a choice he made years ago knowing that he was buying into a system that he could grow into. His go to camera is the Canon EOS 6D with the second camera being a Canon 5D. Lenses used are all L series f/4 except for the 100mm macro f/2.8L lens. They are the 16-35mm f/4L wide angle, 24-105mm f/4 walk around and the 70-200mm f/4L medium telephoto. These lenses round out the kit which is carried about with either a Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 messenger bag for city shooting or a Lowepro Sling Bag for landscape field work. While Ray does more camera handholding than before due to the image stabilization capabilities of his various lenses, he still is a believer in using his Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod. It’s light and it is sturdy. In studio Ray now uses Westcott constant lighting for good clean balanced lighting.

Ray is a firm believer in exposing himself to as much photography and its history as possible. By looking at other people’s photos, he has gained a big appreciation of what this medium has to offer. Ray doesn’t think that “copying” someone else’s style is a good thing but rather feels that exposing oneself to others work can work as a teaching and inspirational tool. With this in mind, Ray has amassed a list of favorite photographers that he uses for inspiration. Some of these artistic photographers are Galen Rowell, Ansel Adams, Frans Lanting, Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Freeman Patterson, William Neill and Richard Avedon.

One of the playlists on this channel is called “neighbourhood photographer” which covers tutorials shot in urban and suburban areas. It’s always a challenge to see different things of interest when you’ve been to an area many times yet this is the best way to create good images. You need to return to familiar locations many times. To do so, Ray often drives by car to an area but when he really wants to cover ground yet see things more clearly, he uses his bicycle…bike…and explores the given place.

Whether shooting landscape, macro, portrait or abstract images, Ray always tries to be aware of his surroundings to capture the best pictures possible. Part of this workflow means he is very aware of composition and uses various tips, such as the rule of thirds, as a good starting point in composing. He also likes to break rules from time to time to add new effects to his photos. Being aware of angles, shadows, shapes, lines, textures, patterns and colours goes a long way to making good pictures. He is also a big believer in “getting out there” and shooting as much as possible as it is the only way to improve and flex one’s imagination. His message is it doesn’t matter if you do your photography in the city, suburbs country, mountains or by the sea, just make sure you do it and follow your artistic passion.

Find me also on…


  1. Erimus Motorcyles on September 23, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Your last photos were subjugating if this word means the same in English. Ready for Smithsonian?

  2. Paul Borucki on September 23, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Trying this today. Very nice work.

  3. Yves Hetu on September 23, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    The spot light effect is fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jim Ruppel on September 23, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Excellent video as always Ray. Something new for me to try. Have you ever seen Harold Davis and his use of LAB color space with flowers? Fun to try.

  5. צילום on September 23, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Inspirational. Thanks

  6. Mariya Jefina on September 23, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Good tips.

  7. asad baig on September 23, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    i try this and really its amazing result. thank you sir

  8. Michael Andrews on September 23, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Really love all your tutorials. You always inspire me to try something different, something new. Thanks

  9. Louise Vincent on September 23, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Very inspiring! Thank you

  10. Rick puff1 on September 23, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    The last two flowers are unbelievable stunning, but I most say I am jealous of your pictures you made them sounds easy but impossible to reproduce or to come close to the same result… Anyways good work as always. I enjoy your channel keep them coming.

  11. old patch on September 23, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Just returned from attempting your earlier flower shots where you enter deep into the structure – another almost alien world – great stuff on this one too and as always perfectly presented – thanks again -and take care.

  12. Enrique on September 23, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Your videos are very well presented and definitely inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Terry Brooks on September 23, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Nice, thanks

  14. Positive Ageing on September 23, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Really liked your video, many thanks Ray

  15. PGC Knaphill on September 23, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Ray – your inspiration is pure pleasure. Thank you.

    ps. I’ve just invested in a 105 macro and, oh, how I feel your excitement in your videos. Thanks

  16. Sandra L on September 23, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    How interesting, thank you. I’m looking forward to the next videos!

  17. mohd alaswad on September 23, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you for your great video much interesting and value.

  18. yujin landscape photography. on September 23, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Really like your video & tutorial.👍🙋 Thank! sir.

  19. Terry Smith on September 23, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks very much Ray. Inspiring as usual. Terry

  20. puddy007 on September 23, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Great tutorial as usual. I like to do the same thing with a lot of my flower shots. It really adds a lot of drama to them and accentuates the primary area of focus. I also like to use the adjustment brush and color picker in Lightroom to sometimes change the color of the flower. It would be great to see you do a few tutorials on some of your Lightroom techniques.


  21. Carter Cooper on September 23, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Great info. Thanks so much for posting these lessons

  22. James Howes on September 23, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    great video there how did you create the spotlight effect on the flowers near the end of the video it is a stunning image well done

  23. Rick Kirkham on September 23, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you Ray so easy

  24. welshman2081 on September 23, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Ray Nice idea, this is a different way of highlighting flowers, darkening the bottom section etc,also adjusting the stops to create the the end result, I do not own a large lamp but I will try with my pre Round Flash,to through the light.
    Regards welshman2018

  25. B H on September 23, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    very helpful Ray

  26. CHRIS LJ on September 23, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Most excellent! But the spotlight effect; how Ray, how?

  27. Tom Doti on September 23, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Your tutorials inspire me.

  28. Zurab Managadze on September 23, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    I love your videos Ray – exceptional good and honest between so many ugly videos here.

  29. Deborah Burd on September 23, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Bought some practice project for today…thank you…also cannot wait for your tutorial on the “Spotlight”

  30. Steve D on September 23, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    please do the L/R tutorial soon re the spot light effect………..stunning

  31. Alan Cahn on September 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Great teacher…I look forward for each of his tutorials…thank you!!!!!

  32. Nord Seher on September 23, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Coming out of the dark into the light. Its really great. Really!!!

  33. David Dowson on September 23, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Ray Excellent well done from the uk

  34. Peter Good on September 23, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Excellent video again Ray. Thanks for inspiring us.

  35. cii1072 on September 23, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Another great video. Nice examples and creativity.

  36. Renee Wilson on September 23, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    As usual, Ray, you give a great presentation. Thank you so much for sharing your techniques, style and photographic knowledge. Much appreciated!

  37. Oguz Benice on September 23, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Thank you Ray!

Leave a Comment