Thursday, January 21, 2021

Black velvet botanical photography



I gave an online Zoom presentation last Tuesday to a group of garden clubs, the event organized by the Garden Club of Cleveland. The subject was botanical photography, and on a larger scale, conservation photography.

Here are two photos that I used - Fire-pink (Silene virginica), and White Lady's-slipper (Cypripedium candidum) - using the black velvet technique. Both were shot where they grow, and isolated by slipping a piece of black velvet behind the subject. It's a simple way to temporarily separate your subject from all its botanical comrades, and do no harm. The shutter was open a whopping 10 seconds on the Fire-pink to harvest enough light in the post-sunset gloom. Fortunately there was no trace of wind, and wind is usually not the plant photographer's friend.

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Blue-winged vs. Golden-winged warblers: An interesting conundrum

  A male Blue-winged Warbler along the Black River in Cheboygan County, Michigan on May 19, 2021. I heard the bird singing, and eventually m...