Lilies are part of the genus Lilium, known as “true lilies”. Other flowers use the word lily in their common name that are not part of this genus such as water lilies, calla lilies, daylilies.
Lilies have been associated with purity and devotion, but this varies with the kind of lily, its color, and culture. Some color associations include:
• White: purity and virtue.
• Pink: prosperity and abundance.
• Red: passion.
• Orange: confidence, pride, and wealth.
• Yellow: thankfulness
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This image was made from 27 separate photographs combined into one using the focus-stacking technique, but before that processing began careful attention was paid to setting up the scene. The most important aspect of this shot is probably the control of lighting. Notice the shading on the petals, that there is a great deal of light and shadow, but that the shadowing is very soft and subtle. Had the shadows been very dark and harsh I think the delicacy of the flower would have been lost.
Although I used professional studio flash equipment it would not be difficult to obtain similar if not identical results with either natural light or rather ordinary household lighting and a piece or two of white reflective material such as foamcore or ordinary white paper taped to cardboard to create stiffness.
If you want to try your hand at lighting a flower or some other object roughly the same size, place it on a tabletop next to a window where it gets bright or direct sun with the sun striking the flower from the side so that it rakes across the petals creating areas of light and shadow. You’ll see strong shadows if it is direct sunlight or soft shadows if the light is indirect.
Rotate the flower one way then the other and observe the light and shadow on it until you find an orientation that seems interesting. Next, place your reflector card near the flower on the side of the flower opposite from the window in order to reflect some light back onto the flower in order to fill in the shadows somewhat. Now, move the card in an arc from the side toward the front of the flower rotating and tilting the card in order to observe the effects that has on the lighting on the flower. The object is to control light and shadow so as to create what you regard as a pleasing effect. Nobody can decide this for you and your own opinion will change over time as your photographic skills evolve.
In this example the sunlight would be considered the “main light” and the light bouncing off the reflector card the “fill light”. All this is basic light control and is essentially what I do in the studio.