Do you love Orchids? You should see them in Infrared . . .
Founded in 1859 by philanthropist Henry Shaw, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the US. The Garden is a center for botanical research and home to Seiwa-en, the largest Japanese Strolling Garden in North America as well as The Climatron, a large Geodesic Dome conservatory. The Gardens occupy 79 acres in the City of St. Louis, Mo at the location of Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home. It is adjacent to Tower Grove Park, another of Shaw’s legacies
The annual Orchid Show each Spring offers visitors a once-a-year opportunity to see a stunning display of hundreds of orchids from the Garden’s expansive permanent living collection amid a tropical oasis.
I wanted to capture the beauty of these Orchids in Infrared.
Ever since I was a child I’ve found Orchids to be fascinating because their shape while beautiful also reminded me of something like an insect or an alien.
The walkways within the Orchid show are narrow to allow visitors to be surrounded by the Orchids. For this shoot, I went very compact with my gear. I used the Canon SL1 compact DSLR converted to Super Color at 590nm. I decided on 2 lenses; the Canon 40mm 2.8 pancake, and the Canon 70-200 f2.8L; one big, one small. Tripods are not allowed in this show.
The Orchid show area was very well lit with natural light, so the first thing I did was white balance my camera using a large green leaf.
The light did seem to change as I moved through the area and as a result I did a custom white balance a total of 3 times.
Everything was shot in RAW, with the auto exposure bracketing (AEB) set for 3 images, each a half stop +/-
The f-stop was mostly at f2.8 – f4.0 to narrow the depth of field.
In post production, I opened the image in Canons Digital Photo Professional (DPP). For the second white balance, I tried different color toned areas to see which worked best to give the clarity and color separation. I then converted the images to Tiffs which I opened in Photoshop CS5. I did channel swap several of the images and used NIK Color Efex Pro4 and Dfine2 to complete the work. In many images I did choose to remove the red color channel completely.
The Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Gardens is open thru 03/22/15.
For information about the Gardens, Click Here.
If you would like to see the rest of my series on these, Click Here.