January 2011



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Orchid House 2













Orchid House 2


 Additional images of the LA County Arboretum can be viewed here


Finding a nice hot house with orchids is kind of difficult in Southern California.  Why have a hot house when a lot of tropicals will grow naturally!  However, there are still orchids that require a consistently warm and moist environment.  The orchid house at the LA Botanical Gardens in Arcadia certainly fits the bill.  


As a consolation to those dealing with the devastating cold and snow on the East Coast, the temperature in SoCal is hanging in the 30's.  This is when the hot houses more than pay their way by protecting the plants that populate their interiors. 


Of course, the main problem shooting in a hot house is the moisture.  Not only are the windows fogged up, but your lens becomes fogged up as well.  On a couple occasions, I've been able to shoot when the windows were open and the hot house was being temporarily aired out.  You have to move quickly which kind of limits your creativity.  If you like to take your time and explore the orchid and various compositions, good luck.


As you can see above, with all the orchids and plants in an absolutely beautiful environment, how could you not get stunning images of individual orchids.  Quite easily, actually.  The light in this hot house tends to be flat and the orchids aren't always in the best location which adds to the difficulty.  The goal of the image above was to try and capture some of the mystique that strikes the visitor upon entering the hot house.  It really catches your eye.  The mist in the background adds a little depth and feeling of space.


Image shot with a 24-120 F4.0 zoom with vibration reduction mounted on a carbon fiber tripod with Monoball head. I did use a 12 megapixel full frame DSLR camera.