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Martin Down Orchids

By suejoh
Taking pictures of orchids on Martin Down.

Some advice please on how you keep the orchid sharp and the background diffuse when out in the field.

The pinky orchid is lit by a small light.

I have loaded pictures also of the white orchid in the evening light. These were particularly disappointing due to very soft flower and poor background.

Tags: Flower Orchid Flowers and plants Martin down

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dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1966 England
7 Jun 2018 12:09PM
Sharp subject and diffused background requires a larger lens aperture, or a longer lens, or both. Stopping down to f/14 will tend to sharpen the background.

However, if you open up too much, it will make getting good focus on the plant harder, and a breeze will be enough to move the flowers out of the zone of focus. You need to accept a high level of failure in what you shoot, I think, and so shoot lots! And soemtimes, the shot you want simply isn't possible because of the conditions, or because of the relative positions of subject, light and background problems.

You've used a good technique for the lead image, with more light on the flower than the background.

It may also be relevant that the focal length that you use will alter the relative size of the subject and background: you have used a longer lens than most of us would try (or own), and that has probably helped separation, by making the background larger relative to the subject. Sorry - that's not very clear. But try shooting hte same flower at 400mm and then 100mm, but moving the camera closer so that the bloom occupies the same proportion of the frame to see what I mean. Zoom lenses are not just for framing without moving: they can alter perspective.
banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4333 Canada
7 Jun 2018 1:00PM
Your lead image is quite nice, though you need a faster shutter and smaller aperture, - which means better light.

In general, the shots you see on here with a soft green background and a bright flower, like a Stitchworth are shot using a long lens, 300-400mm, approx f/8-f/10, and shutter speeds over 1/200th. The trick is to get as close to the subject flower as possible so the lens can focus, select a flower with the background not too close to it, which will throw the background out of focus.

Loaded a mod of your first upload. The second mod is the correct one, I loaded the wrong version first.

rontear Plus
19 23 9 England
7 Jun 2018 2:38PM
Delicately taken Sue SmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmileSmile

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