Colourful Orchids

Red Vanda Orchid
A red Vanda orchid glows as the light passes through its petals.

It’s getting chillier every day here and we’ve had some very grey skies during the week, so I thought I’d post a bit of bright colour on the blog today.

Wherever I go, I’m always keen to take the chance to photograph flowers. Sometimes there’s something new, or a plant that would be difficult to grow at home. You never know what plants and flowers you may come across when you’re out and about with a camera. It’s pretty much a matter of luck. (And lots of garden visiting!)

It’s also a matter of luck if you find flowers that are in good condition at the time and that you can photograph without other things being in the way. There’s not a lot you can do about distracting backgrounds but experimenting with different angles and getting as close as you can will help a lot.

The weather can be a matter of luck too. If you’re photographing plants outside or in a glasshouse, you’re better to choose a day that is slightly overcast. This will soften the light and make it more diffused, allowing you to capture the colours and textures of the flowers more easily. (Whereas bright sunlight, especially at the middle of the day will easily burn out highlights and create heavy shadows that obscure details.) Low-angled sunlight near the beginning or end of the day is much gentler and the slanting light picks out details beautifully, so it’s good choice if you can time your visit for it.

Blue Vanda Orchid
This Vanda orchid is an amazing blue.

The orchids here are ‘Vanda’ orchids. I’ve never tried to grow these (just the similar-looking Phalanopsis or ‘moth’ orchids), so it’s a joy to find some that I can photograph. Their rich colours and the characteristic dotted effect on the petals add to the visual interest of the photos. And wandering around them, camera at the ready, lifts the spirits – of this photographer at any rate!

The wonderful variety of flower shapes makes the orchid family an inspiring subject for flower photographers. I find them hard to resist and will always be on the lookout for these exotic, intriguing blooms. At home I occasionally grow Phalanopsis orchids.ย  They are pretty easy because they seem to thrive on neglect and nowadays they can be bought cheaply at most supermarkets. At the moment I have a couple ofย  orchids just waiting to be photographed. They have a similar white/purple/burgundy colouring but one is a Phalanopsis and I think the other may be an Oncidium, so the flower-shape is very different. (Photographs for a future blog post….)

I hope that these orchids have brightened your day. Do you have different orchids where you live? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Magenta Vanda Orchid
Magenta Vanda Orchid

6 thoughts on “Colourful Orchids

  1. Lovely to see the different bright colour variations. I started to tell you about our native orchids and then found a website devoted to them.. scrubbed out what I’d written as I quickly realised I know nothing at all! If you’re interested there’s a great photo page at http://www.nativeorchids.co.nz/Gallery_LR.html that leads you into different kinds of NZ orchids. I’m most familiar with the “Greenhoods”. Also, there’s one that hangs from trees in the bush that is wonderfully scented when flowering. There’s lots more than I realised!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an amazing photo page (bookmarked it) and could be really helpful for identifying orchids at botanical gardens etc. I was amused by the ‘Dancing Spider’ orchid and the Greenhoods can have lovely striped markings that would make for a good photograph. The scented orchid sounds like a marvellous thing to find if you’re out for a walk – I’m just imagining the effect of the scent – fantastic! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re lovely, Syd! I reckon they’re Phalanopsis orchids. The colouring is rather unusual – that’s an intriguing thing about orchids – you never know what you’ll find. Thank you for your very kind comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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