Orchid (no.1)

January 19, 2012
Orchid (no.1)

0.8sec @ f/16
105mm, ISO200, +2/3ev
Evaluative Metering
Nikon D3s, AF-S 105mm f/2.8

I have never looked too closely at orchids before, well actually I didn’t look at any flowers closely. With a macro lens it is difficult not to. Flowers are excellent subjects for macro photography, especially the potted type. They are the perfect model, they don’t feel awkward in different poses, you can work with them for hours on end, and you don’t need to pay them. If the lighting isn’t quite right, or you just aren’t getting the right shot, wait for another day.

The closer you get to an orchid the more crazy they look. The closer you get with a macro lens, the harder it is to focus on the subject. Too many people think that macro is about getting real close with a speciality lens and shooting away. Macro, I believe is one of the hardest photographic disciplines. One millimeter makes a huge different to the composition of the shot. You can painstakingly spend an hour getting the perfect setup and as you get up to admire your work you gently knock the tripod and the whole thing is out of whack again!!

Critically this shot isn’t quite what I wanted. The OOF part of the flower at the bottom left of the frame is grabbing too much attention. It doesn’t quite dissect the petal above it, and it isn’t quite far enough away from the petal above it. Ideally I would have got closer to remove it altogether, however in macro that might as well have been a different subject. As with all photography, the photograph should be all about the subject. Nothing should take away from the subject. My subject is obviously the yellow and red part of the flower. Everything in the shot guides the eye to that part of the flower apart from the OOF section bottom left. Aside from that I am happy with the sharpness and the remaining composition. It was certainly a good lesson in reminding me how hard macro photography really is.


  1. So good to see you are back! And great to know that our gift has provided inspiration to return to photography – which you are, to my mind, far too critical of, but I’m not an expert! I love your eye for detail and the final effect is to me, quite beautiful!

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