Orchids forum: Photography Tips for Orchids

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 8, 2010 1:40 PM CST
Here is a place to learn how to make your orchid photography better.

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Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 8, 2010 1:42 PM CST
I typically do a photo shoot of my orchid when in peak (lots of flowers open) and mostly use a dark background (cloth, wall, black mat board) but as you see in the first post, I sometimes play with the colors in the orchid or with texture.
Name: Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
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Todd_Boland
Feb 23, 2010 6:58 PM CST
I use a piece of black cardboard or black felt as the background. If a sunny day, I place the orchid in the sun and the black material behind on a slight angle so the surface of the black material is in its own shadow...that prevents the background from being grey rather than black. If cloudy, I often use a tripod as the shutter speed will be low. Again, I try to angle the material so it looks the blackest through the lens. Oftentimes, if is not as black as I like then I have to resort to iphotoplus (something like photoshop but easier to use)..that can make the image more shadowed, which makes the background very black. However, the image is also dark then, so next I use Ulead Photo express to 'spotlight' the orchid. That brightens up the orchid and makes the background even blacker! A lot of work at times, but worth it. I don't use fancy blackboxes or side lighting. I only use natural light. In summer, doing this outside is far easier and then I often do not need to resort to any editing of the image.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 23, 2010 7:14 PM CST
Very interesting, Todd. I would never have guessed that you did any enhancing. They look so perfectly natural. You've got a great eye. I know how to get darker backgrounds in photoshop so I should play some more. Sometimes I like the grey backgrounds so I can do my shadow thing. (I've been making shadows in photos and painting shadows forever.)

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Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 24, 2010 8:36 AM CST
Thanks for the tips Todd. I don't have photoshop so I have to depend on natural light/flash. It's really problematic with the reds.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 24, 2010 9:02 AM CST
I found that red problems and getting rich, dark colors are related to my camera and to lighting. It seems less of an issue as I spend more $!!! Have others noticed this? or am I imagining this because I want it to be true?

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Name: Ken
Fredericton, N.B. Canada
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Ironwood
Feb 24, 2010 11:01 AM CST
Kathy, you are right about lighting conditions and capturing the proper color for deep burgundys/violets/purples with digital cameras that was better handled but film type cameras. I think digital camera technology is still in its infancy and the Camera Makers strive was to get proper flesh tones because people would notice right away if a person's color was too green, too bluish or too reddish. I think Camera Makers are more into adding features (that most of us don't use) as selling points rather than spending research dollars to fix some of these functional problems, as there is not so much return for these dollars spent. I am not so sure about dollars spent as my Pentax point and shoot for about 1/3 to 1/4 dollars of my Canon DSLR does equally as well if not slightly better at handling this color fiasco. The Pentax is a couple of years newer in technology though, but I have checked Canon's web site and there are no new programing updates for my camera. I think one of the problems is, for the most part we as consumers don't convey back to the Camera Makers our dissatisfaction with these issues. If the Company only hears from 0.1% (hypothetical) then they can sit in their bubble and say 'well that is only 1 in a 1000 that is having a problem' so then the issue can be seen as not a problem at all, even though all 1000 are having the same problem.
Name: Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Cana
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Todd_Boland
Feb 24, 2010 6:31 PM CST
The dark purples are pathetic with a black background..their colours are always off...usually bleached....your dendro looks pretty good with a light background...I'll try that when my dark one opens. And like Ken said, price is not everything. My Canon was only 1/4 the cost of my Nikon and it can deal with dark colours just as well. However, white flowers are FAR better with my expensive camera.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Feb 24, 2010 8:29 PM CST
Interesting. I think you are right about the white flowers.
Name: Debbie S
Central PA (Zone 6b)
Hitting lots of milestones this yea
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dixiegalpa
Feb 25, 2010 1:43 PM CST
These I did with my macro...they are the small orchids...blooms are only 1/2 an inch to an inch and 1/2 high. I used a black tupperware lid as my background. Naturally lighted room with enhancement from my flash...I am not a terribly technical photographer. I don't know a lot of the technical terms...so please bear with me.

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Wife of 10 yrs, mama of 8yo son who is a Bear Scout, LNT trained, Bear Den Leader in Scout Pack 59, Patrol Leader of Beaver Patrol in Gilwell Troop 1.
Name: Debbie S
Central PA (Zone 6b)
Hitting lots of milestones this yea
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dixiegalpa
Feb 25, 2010 1:48 PM CST
#2

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Wife of 10 yrs, mama of 8yo son who is a Bear Scout, LNT trained, Bear Den Leader in Scout Pack 59, Patrol Leader of Beaver Patrol in Gilwell Troop 1.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 25, 2010 4:54 PM CST
Nice shots! I especially love the first close up one, Debbie!
Name: Debbie S
Central PA (Zone 6b)
Hitting lots of milestones this yea
Image
dixiegalpa
Feb 25, 2010 6:40 PM CST
ty:) The second one I played with the colors a bit trying to fade out the stems....it looks much better when the stems don't show:)
Wife of 10 yrs, mama of 8yo son who is a Bear Scout, LNT trained, Bear Den Leader in Scout Pack 59, Patrol Leader of Beaver Patrol in Gilwell Troop 1.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Feb 27, 2010 8:28 AM CST

Moderator

I am looking at this thread with great interest. After all, we would like to show our Orchids here in their best light.
For me, showing the whole plant, spikes and the blooms at different angles is very important. Photographing the whole flower front on and then cut-outs to show details is helpful. Pics of buds are great too.
I like to see the ratio of plant to blooms and other typical characteristics. And if the plant has a blemish somewhere it's ok too in my eyes, since it is a form of documentation.

Now if it is eye candy, well - I am certainly not complaining either. Thumbs up A full arm of a blooming Cattleya or Cymbidium bowls me over every time, ditto for a cute little botanical ( and everything else in-between.....)
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 27, 2010 9:08 AM CST
I am always trying to capture my wonder on film first (art).
Then, the science like Ursula. Mostly your multiple shots help me, Ursula, to see who the plant is (it's personality and its differences from other plants) and also what my plant is striving to be (since your plants are often specimens). I love when you show us many views. Richard's Kew orchids and visits in person to a good greenhouse also do that for me.

What are others priorities and thoughts when they photograph?
Name: Fred Rump
Naples, FL (Zone 10a)
enjoying what nature has to offer
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida Orchids Tropicals Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Ponds Bromeliad Ferns Region: United States of America Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Fred
Feb 28, 2010 5:29 PM CST
I go with your first choice, the capture the art and pure beauty of nature. Then I also wish to record what a plant looks like in bloom in my database of orchids. To me its still a bit of a miracle that I can get such exotic plants to bloom at all and the moment needs to be captured and saved, In the long run it doesn't matter much as we will all die and someone will erase the flowers of our past but in the meantime we can be proud of having raised them from whatever status we purchased these plants.

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Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 28, 2010 6:18 PM CST
perfectly said, Fred I agree
lindsey
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Feb 28, 2010 8:29 PM CST
Oh, Fred. You are right. It is a gift and a miracle. I am always amazed when I look at my archive of photos that they bloomed here in New England so far from their homes. Lately, I seem to have become more interested in where my collection comes from, so that I can feel the amazement more acutely.
Name: Laurel
Georgia
Maypoplaurel
Mar 4, 2010 6:34 PM CST
Just want to let ya'll know that the manual for DH's Cannon has been located and, contrary to popular opinion, I'm actually reading it. I'm good for about three minutes a night. Big Grin DH located the Spanish version first. He was kind enough to ask if I wanted to read the manuel or the manual. Mi espanol es muy mal. Blinking

I have acquired a new tripod. Left, right, up, down and sideways. Very busy. I'm so behind the rest of you 'cause I've never had an interest in photography until this round of orchids. Documenting is a whole new thing attached to collecting.
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Mar 4, 2010 6:44 PM CST
You'll catch up! I read about 1 page a night myself.

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