A frigid day outside, but as soon as you step into the conservatory of beautiful Longwood Gardens, you are greeted with tropical temperatures and an explosion of color and beauty and, oh yeah, fellow photographers and spectators everywhere. So how does one take a subject, such as flowers, especially those that have been poised and arranged ever so meticulously (like those found at the “Orchid Extravaganza”), and take a photograph that is unique and all your own. Not an easy task… I Googled it. There are pages of orchid photographs… many just from this event! And of course this is not just limited to flowers; how about all those scenic wonders around the world or even closer to home… just like Longwood.
Of course, we can always hope or keep our fingers crossed that something special will occur, a beautiful rainbow perhaps, a grand and glowing light source, etc., etc… Okay, chances are that’s not going to happen. Instead, if you’re like me, there are always some limitations and restrictions… time restrictions, rules of use, the weather, and those pesky no trespassing signs. So knowing your equipment and more importantly how to see is key to getting the best image possible… at least for me.
Yes, I sometimes do a lot in post, but I strive for the best possible image right out of the camera. Because it is at that time that the image begins… regardless of its transformation in post. There are two points in particular that have really impacted how I see. The first… what is behind, around, or in front of the subject and how it can be incorporated into the composition. And the second… giving the image a title as you compose it in the camera. These words of wisdom actually came from Henry Rowan. (Of note, I’m paraphrasing here, and I am sure Henry said it so much better.) These two practices have become a routine part of my composing… and how I see the image in its entirety.
Take for instance, this next group of orchids, which I thought took on a very pontiff-like quality. So much so, I used the the foggy windows and the window frames to help create a more shall we say spiritual composition… and a Papal Orchid.
A bright sunny day really helped shooting in the conservatory. Before long I changed from a 24-70 mm, ditched the tripod, and began shooting handheld with a 60 mm macro. Handheld, for me, is about the only way to incorporate the background that I want… or don’t want… and find that perfect angle.
In my bag on this outing: Nikon D750, Nikon 60 mm macro, and Tamron 24-70.
I hope you enjoyed this abbreviated tour of the “Orchid Extravaganza”.
Until next time,