IN THE FIELD: Revisiting Greenhouses

Most of my photography is done outdoors, but there are a few places I like to shoot indoors. A greenhouse full of plants and flowers is one of them.

There are several reasons I enjoy shooting flowers indoors. Usually there are no breezes to contend with. Except for the fans used to circulate the air. If I do find a prime subject, and the flower is waving in the breeze, I will ask if I can move it to another location. Or for something creative, I may compose the shot to show movement.

Also, the light is evenly diffused in a greenhouse, either from shade cloth or frosted glass. You can even shoot at high noon and not be concerned with harsh shadows.

The humidity inside a greenhouse is something to be aware of. If your camera and lens has been in air-conditioning for an extended period of time, allow it to warm to the temperature inside the greenhouse. Take some time out to scout the location before removing the lens cap. Otherwise the lens will fog instantly, and then you will have a really long wait before you can get any photos.

There is no need to wait for a rainy day to get shots of plants and flowers with water droplets on them if you are there when folks are doing their watering. Plus you won’t get wet from the weather…you’re inside.

In my opinion, one of the greatest reasons to go on a photo shoot in a greenhouse is the variety you will be exposed to. Find a local greenhouse and ask the folks there if you can photograph their plant material. You’ll be rewarded with a wonderful time and super photographs.

This photo was shot using a tripod. Zoom lens set at 135mm, ISO 200, sunny white balance, f7.1 @ 1/125.

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  1. August 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Great and informative post, and a great photo, David.

  2. August 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks Bob, I really appreciate your comments. Oh yeah…yesterday we had a ruby throated hummingbird on our deck. First one this season!

  3. August 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Excellent information, David. I love shooting at greenhouses for the same reasons. Also, I don’t need to worry about the weather. Rain or shine, it is always a good location. One other big advantage of the greenhouse is that usually the plants have received TLC (after all, they are the merchandise) so they are usually in better condition than I would find in nature.

    • August 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Thanks Ted, and you made a great point too. The plants in a greenhouse are usually in better shape than what you will find outside. Thanks for mentioning that!

  4. August 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Great tips there! I have been struggling with the light this summer when shooting. Not used to the bright sunshine you get by the Mediterranean! But I’ve at least got a good deal of practice! 🙂

    • August 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks Anne! I would love to have some practice in the Mediterranean area!!!

  5. August 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    This is way cool ideal! Beautiful!

    • August 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      It sure does come in handy when shooting in somewhat controlled conditions! Rain or shine…plus the better greenhouses are usually cooler in the summer than the outside temps!

  6. August 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Great shot, David! And an excellent tip 😉
    There is a new greenhouse near my place, I think I will make a trip there one of these days.

    • August 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks Gracie, you really have to visit these places. Just ask first and then the place will be yours to play!

  7. August 1, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Love the colours, water drops and crispness, here David. I imagine the mosquitoes are less bothersome in that environment too.Thanks for the tips re: condensation. You are so good at sharing your expertise. Thank you.

    • August 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Gee thanks Jane, I like to share what i know…and I like to learn from others. Great point…I forgot the part about bothersome bugs!!! Last week I stopped along side the road to get a few shots of some wildflower seed pods…got back in the Jeep and had five ticks on my legs. I got them before they got me…hate those things!

  8. August 2, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Makes a lot of sense! I had not thought of photographing in a greenhouse!

    • August 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Ahh Montucky, you must venture into one of these glass houses. Inside you will be amazed at the opportunities. No wind or weather and plenty of time…until they close for the day.

  9. Nandini
    August 2, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Beautiful photo, David! Love the colors, and beautiful water drops.. Excellent information, thanks. 🙂

    • August 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Hey Nandini! Glad to be of help…it was had to decide which photo to show for this post. they have such a variety in these greenhouses around here!

  10. August 2, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Beautiful! I love the colour combination and the water droplets are perfect. I can see you were in your element!

    • August 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Jo, I’m like a kid in a candy store…look at this one…hey over here…you gotta see this, wow check this out….

  11. August 2, 2012 at 5:55 am

    The colours are lovely.

    • August 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks Meanderer, it was a toss up between this shot or a shot of a purple/pink African Daisy or …

  12. August 2, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Lovely photo…

    • August 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks BD, I’ll be heading to another greenhouse near where my Mom lives. They have an indoor jungle complete with a waterfall and I’m sure I’ll find some cool stuff there. I’ve been there before and it’s really really humid but cool at the same time if that makes sense.

      • August 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

        Sounds like the type of place I like to go to, but always worry about the humidity and my camera…

      • August 3, 2012 at 8:31 am

        I’ve never had problems with the humidity outside of fogged lenses…it’s the overhead watering systems that get me. They always seem to go on as I am photographing something underneath the hanging baskets LOL!

  13. August 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    WOW! This is great shot, loved it. Thank you dear David, you are amazing. Love, nia

    • August 3, 2012 at 8:32 am

      Thanks Nia, I am glad you have enjoyed this one!

  14. August 3, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Just beautiful David! And great info.

    • August 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

      Thanks Vickie, Just trying to help any way I can. Check out the local greenhouses…they are an al weather photo opp!

  15. August 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

    This is one pretty flower, is that Calendula?

    • August 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Ya know….I usually write down the names of flowers if they are unfamiliar….except this time.
      I was just so excited seeing the variety I got lost in the moment…duh.

      • August 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm

        familiar feeling 🙂 I never write things down and then I always think ‘I should off… ‘ 🙂

  16. August 15, 2012 at 5:19 am

    What a gorgeous colour the flower is — another that I ought to know the name of but can’t recall in this moment!

  17. August 15, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I should know the name also…I did work in a greenhouse for almost a year. DUH. But since the old memory banks are a little dusty, or it’s just selective memory, I’m happy calling it a pretty flower.

  18. August 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Love the sharpness and the colors. We have this flower in white and pink, I wish I had this variety. I call it an African Daisy, I’ve no idea if that’s the right name, though.

  19. August 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks Belen, we are in the process of finding a new home…hopefully one where we can have a garden so we can enjoy all our favorites! I’m with you in calling this an African Daisy.

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