This is a continuation segment of the previous orchid post from our recent Hilo orchid show in Hawaii. I’m presenting some of my favorite orchids, the truly exotic and frilly varieties and also my best orchid photographs capturing these amazing beauties.
I do have to apologize, for some reason the names I marked down to document all these orchids are not corresponding with the numbered series from my camera (not really sure how this happened) so, what I think I will do instead is discuss some of the unique ways I see, capture and present these orchids at their utmost beauty.
A close up macro of this red Vanda – an unusual color for this species.
One of my favorite ways of photographing orchids is to backlight them, meaning having the sun behind the flowers which then highlights the lighter areas of the flower, making them glow and more translucent. A very effective way of presenting many of the delicate types here including these gorgeous Paphiopedilums. Now you do have to have enough light in the front to capture the details so I would use a higher ISO setting if you have a DSLR camera. If you have a simple point and shoot, then the automatic mode will set the exposure and decide if a flash is necessary.
Another common technique I use regularly is to fill up the frame with your subject and distance them from your background. That way can see more intimate details of these flowers including the petals, stamens and lips. If you can manually crop to the main focus, you will really capture the essence of each particular flower and make your photography stand out like this chartreuse cattleya.
I always strive to capture natural light especially when its very difficult to use flash or have a tripod available in these larger venues unless you are able to access these events separately without the crowds. Again, its better to use a higher ISO setting to allow for dim lighting.
Shooting at aperture mode (AV) allows me to change depth of field and eliminate unwanted background noise which makes the flowers shine. I tend to focus on shallower depth of field to get me closer to the subject and blur the background. I’m not sure if a point and shoot allows for this feature, maybe a macro mode setting might eliminate the background noise. Or in some cameras, there is a flower close up mode that would also work well.
Always try to isolate your subject matter, move around the subject to find the optimum spot where it really looks special (some times the back shot can be more interesting that the front shot ). I sometimes create a small pinhole opening with one finger to view from so it tries to capture a macro shot without using the camera and giving you a quick impression.
Go on in and get those macro shots, in both DSLR’s and point and shoot cameras, there are macro modes that will allow you to get in closer and capture those really close up details and make them look crisp. Go for a focus detail or try an abstract macro.
On that note, I always try to minimize the background especially for detailed shots, I will look for solid and non-busy backgrounds, black for me is ideal. If you can isolate the orchid or even move it to a more ideal background, then do so. (at least if someone will allow you to do this)
Look for something unique or really outstanding flowers that you haven’t seen before and spend more time looking at them and seeing what the best angles are to capture them in photo. Beautiful blue/purple tones always draw me into these striking Brassavolas.
Have fun and talk to these growers/exhibitors and try to learn more about a certain species that you are attracted to and document this information. Do try to make sure your photo matches the number shot of your camera. Last, try to let your camera tell a story about this special orchid, it should do just that if you spend time and enjoy these voluptuous beauties.
Spend the time to see the subject at different levels, from the top, or the bottom or the side Look at the lighting coming from different angles to your subject. You will come up with many more interesting compositions and present a more dynamic photograph.
Go for the environment photo, so it also tells you the story of the show. This will tend to be a larger shot with a smaller aperture or in point and shoot normal view with little zoom. You want to capture and tell the story of this wonderful event. Just make sure to fill in the frame and take out all the un-necessary background.
I hope that these tips help in you in capturing better flower photographs, these are my tried and true concepts that I have learned from others and works best for me. Go out in your garden today and take a few with these thoughts in mind.
To visit other gardens today go visit http://flowersfromtoday.blogspot.com/
To see other posts for fertilizer friday go and visit http://www.tootsietime.com