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Old Oct 12, 2011, 5:01 PM   #1
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Default Challenge: White on White

As a follow-up to Tullio photo of the white orchid I also tried a version on this shot.
A number of things to note.
  1. My white background is of a different texture than that of the flower (obviously)
  2. The shadows would be almost impossible to get rid of on my case since it would mean some creating almost studio lighting conditions near my doorway.
  3. The phaleonopsis orchid is this case is not completely white. 100% white phals are not easy to come by. This one has a slight tinge on the back of the flower - the trend nowadays. I tried to minimize the slight pink tinge by using a downward angle.
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Old Oct 12, 2011, 5:44 PM   #2
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Hi Selvin

What beautiful flowers - and I particulaerly like how they get just that bit slightly larger further up the stem.

About the white on white exposure / challenge, etc- the flower to the right of this photo is the brightest.. but appears to be furthest away from the camera. Maybe it's the angle (most 'straight on' to the camera)?

Shadows are somewhat harsh (as you wrote... and explained why) - so that's a bit annoying / distracting - but actually it can be interestingly easy to create lighting using reflected lighting with eg white pillows / sheets to reflect light. I don't own any studio lighting, but when I've taken photos of people, using such 'household items' at my disposal, it can work amazingly well. Am I correct in assuming you used your camera's flash?

FWIW, I think you've done a great job with the exposure - well balanced for such a challenging set of whites. Thanks for sharing.


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Old Oct 13, 2011, 8:29 AM   #3
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Very nice exposure and composition. I do see some vignetting particularly on the upper corners.

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Old Oct 14, 2011, 5:04 AM   #4
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Paul, and Tullio,
Thanks for the comments. Tullio, I noted the vignetting and would probably take off myUV filter when doing closeups like this again.
Paul, the light challenges could perhaps be better controlled if I snuck it inside,and swore to my wife that I wouldn't damage herorchid..
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 7:21 AM   #5
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Selvin, it almost looks like porcelin. Just beautiful.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 5:22 PM   #6
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I agree that it's beautiful! While the shadows are harsh, I don't find them objectionable at all. Rather, realistic.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 9:02 PM   #7
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Selvin, I agree with all that's been said.

I have a botanical question for you. When I was in Hawaii a few years ago I observed beautiful orchids growing from the trunks of trees. Is the orchid a parasitic flower? All the orchids I've seen in the US (Mainland) are in pots and probably grown in greenhouses.

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Old Oct 16, 2011, 6:53 AM   #8
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Very well done.
Orchids are so interesting to look and so many different varieties.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 1:21 PM   #9
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Folks, thanks for your kind and insightful c,
Orchids in general are non-parasitic. Quite a few however do not require any sort of medium such as a soil or potting mix. In fact the minority of them actually grow in soil.
The ones you saw growing on tree barks are fairly typical. These are usually affixed to the tree bark initially with some sort of medium e.g. redwood chips wrapped around the roots or more commonly here a piece of tree fern trunk and then suspended from a tree or tied to the bark of the tree. The medium protects the roots and provides a means of trapping moisture for the roots. It provides no nutrients. The orchid gets that from the air.
Yes orchids are amongst the most prolific flows grown for show.
Aloha, selvin
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