Posts Tagged ‘orchids’

IN THE FIELD: Tropical

January 29, 2014 9 comments


IN THE FIELD: Wilderness Treasures

June 25, 2012 43 comments

During our last trip to Idaho and Montana, we spent some time exploring the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area. While photographing the region was our primary focus, we did manage to sneak in some hiking and fly fishing.

One of our side trips was a visit to Selway Falls, which is southwest of the Lolo pass. From the trailhead, it was a relatively easy hike to several good vantage points to view the falls. It was rocky, but downhill the whole way.

After getting some shots of the falls, we decided to take a short break before we headed back up the trail. As beautiful as the falls were, I was actually more fascinated by what we discovered as we relaxed under the shade of the evergreen trees.

Behind the old log we were sitting on were several dozen Fairy Slipper orchids (Calypso bulbosa). These orchids are not rare, but they can be hard to find. They thrive in the moist environments of evergreen forests. We were amazed to see such tiny delicate flowers among the towering fir trees.

After photographing the orchids, we decided it was time to head back to the car. Hiking to the falls was the easy part. Making it back to the trailhead was all together different. The trailhead was only 3/4th’s of a mile away…except it was severe uphill trek and the day had become blistering hot. I don’t know how long our steep schlep back to the car lasted, but it seemed like three lifetimes.

I shot this with my 50mm 1.8 lens, used a tripod and cable release. Underexposing about 1/3rd of a stop helped to make the color richer.

INSPIRATION: Building Relationships In The Field

April 4, 2012 28 comments

In a previous post titled, In The Field: Asking Permission, I wrote about the importance of asking permission before taking photos at garden centers, markets and other public venues, as well as private properties. I thought this would be a good time of year for a refresher course as many of us are emerging from our winter hibernations.

Whenever you come across a potential photographic subject at a public or private location, it’s always best to take care of a small, but simple detail.

Before unloading all your camera gear, chat with the owners for a few minutes before bringing up the fact you are a photographer. Introduce yourself, mention where you are from, and tell them how much you admire what it is you want to photograph. Then, if you are getting a positive response, ask if you can take some photos. This little bit of common courtesy will help tremendously in your quest to capture what is displayed on their property that captured your interest. And the owners won’t think you are some kind of evil prowler. In return for allowing the privilege of getting some photos, offer them a print or to email them an file of one of your best shots that day. Simply put, take the time to establish a relationship.

Whenever I am out and about and come across a place I’ve never been to, if time permits I will stop in and check the place out. If it has potential, I’ll tell them who I am and explain what I want to do. Whether I intend to photograph something at the present time or in the future, I take the time to get to know the owner of the property or manager of the business. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes to gain their confidence. And mentioning I won’t include any price tags or signage in my photos is very reassuring to a retailer, for example. After all, I wouldn’t want them to think I was a spy working for their competition. Besides, why would I want a big ‘ole sign in my photo anyway?

IN THE FIELD: Indoor Jungle

March 9, 2012 35 comments

During my latest scouting mission to a local greenhouse/garden center looking for an early spring color fix, I discovered a number of orchid plants in the indoor foliage greenhouse. With the greenery as a backdrop, the orchids and their unusual shapes and glorious colors immediately captured my attention. And I couldn’t resist the photographic opportunity.

When the greenhouse is packed full with even more orchids and additional foliage plants, I imagine it will be like an indoor tropical rainforest. But without insects the size of King Kong, snakes that would consider me a midnight snack, or the oppressive heat and humidity associated with a tropical jungle in an exotic location. And with no passport required, I can visit this greenhouse anytime.

Now, that’s my idea of a photo-op.