Captivated by an Orchid


Usually I turn left as I leave the entrance buildings, walk past the orchid garden to get to the lily pond as the sun is just reaching out to give a morning kiss to the opening blossoms. My routine is to turn into the orchid garden at the end of my trip after having a ginger limeade and scone at the Fogg Cafe.


I changed my routine last week, deciding to take a look at the orchids first – instead of waiting until I’m tired and ready to go home. On the short walk along the outside of the garden this orchid stopped me in my tracks. I was captivated by the beauty of the flowers demurely hanging from the stalk, the drops of water.


I have taken hundreds of photos of the orchids over the years but I haven’t been happy with most of the images once I download them to my computer. Maybe it is because I usually take them when I am tired and my senses are dulled. Maybe it is because of how the flowers grow or their environment. The orchid garden is full of foliage and flowers.


Many of the images I bring home are deleted because the background is too bright or too busy. But yesterday I was reading a book on photography, thinking of the orchid images I have been processing, and the WordPress Daily Prompt of “captivating.” I think orchids require a difference type of connection with me and my camera.


I have worked hard to record the anatomy of the orchids – to make an accurate image. This isn’t easy because I want the subject to be sharp, the edges clean – but orchids have fleshy parts that result in soft edges. They look out of focus. But even more important is the fact that many orchids seem to have a personality that doesn’t want to be recorded in a factual way.

I don’t think I have been listening close enough. That first orchid, the one that spun me in my tracks, taught me that it was too special for my standard way of trying to capture an orchid. It taught me that I need to think about what makes orchids so captivating. I need to allow myself to be pulled in by the orchid so the image I make will hopefully captivate the people who view my photographs.



21 thoughts on “Captivated by an Orchid

  1. The last pictures make the orchids look like they are chattering. That is what I think about orchids. They are noisy, crass, unrestrained. If they could talk, they would be telling fart jokes.


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  4. That first image of the peach-coloured orchid is out of this world.

    “many orchids seem to have a personality that doesn’t want to be recorded in a factual way.” That’s an interesting comment, and maybe it’s true. I’m decorating a wedding cake with sugar paste roses. I’ve made roses for years, but never been entirely happy with them. I’ve watched a few tutorials online, and my roses look as good as those that I see there, but still there’s been something missing. Yesterday it finally occurred to me to look at images of real roses, and I figured it out. Last night I finally made some roses I’m happy with. Roses are very unlike orchids; they love to be recorded in a factual way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am finding out now that using a tripod with a remote release is the way to go. I can’t keep the camera still enough to get the image I want. Nice shots. Keep experimenting, it’s fun. Thank you for your blog, you inspired me to do one on the Botanical Gardens near Puerto Vallarta. Cheers.


    • I look forward to seeing it, Dan. I haven’t started using my remote but I do know I’m not steady enough to get the quality I want without the tripod.


  6. Pat, the largest picture in that group is gorgeous, as is the one above it. The blurred background and foreground with the sharp peachy orchids in between is perfect! And the water droplets. There’s just everything to love about that picture. I’d say you really tuned into them this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I’m excited that I’m learning some ways to use camera settings. Every so often I do some reading and start practicing some new skills. Exciting – but the learning is very slow.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But so worth it. We have amature photography contests around her A LOT. That’s as beautiful a picture as I’ve ever seen at one. Have you ever entered anything like at the state fair or what not?


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