Wednesday, February 12, 2020


A gorgeous Phalaenopsis orchid on display in the Cleveland Botanical Garden. It was one of several thousand orchids that currently adorn the sprawling facility. The annual Orchid Mania show is a great way to escape the dreary blah of our cold gray winter, and tune up for the forthcoming growing season.

Last Sunday, Debbie DiCarlo and I led a photo workshop here that concentrated on orchids and floral photography, as part of our Focus on Photography business. It won't be our last. The workshop quickly filled to capacity (20 people) and everyone got lots of eye candy photography and hopefully learned a lot about making images.

This is the only workshop or tour like this, for us. Everything else is outdoors, focusing on natural landscapes and native flora and fauna. We have some interesting ones this year. See the whole slate RIGHT HERE. We'd welcome you along on any of these, and love to work with photographers of all stripes and abilities.

Following are some of my images taken during the workshop. While I'm fascinated by the Orchidaceae (2nd largest plant family in the world!), I am no expert on domesticated captives and their myriad forms and hybrids. I've tried to name them as best I can, but if you see a mistake, please let me know.

PHOTOGRAPHIC NOTES: I shot everything with my Canon 5D IV, and Canon's amazing and versatile 70-200mm f/2.8 II, with a 12mm extension tube. It works great for fare such as this, and the zoom offers easy compositional flexibility. Our group was allowed into the gardens three hours before it opened to the public. We were allowed to use tripods during that time (they're normally off-limits). So, in the morning we all shot off tripods with no flash, and all but one of the following orchid photos was made that way. Following lunch, we went out with handheld gear, and practiced using flash, to give everyone experience with two very different techniques. The three animal photos at the end were shot handheld, with flash.

Jewel orchid, Ludisia discolor

Venus slipper orchid, Paphiopedilum spp. (this is the only orchid shot where flash was used, in this set)
Paphiopedilum lowii x haynaldianum

Phaiocalanthe kryptonite x Calanthe vestita

Moth orchid, Phalaenopsis spp.

 Moth orchid, Phalaenopsis spp.

Stardust Firebird, Dendrobium spp.

Longwing, Heliconius spp.

Bananaquit, Coereba flaveola

"Bob", an incredible specimen of a panther chameleon, Furcifer pardalis.

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