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Author Topic: Winter Orchids: Marcella Koss  (Read 408 times)

Bob_B

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Winter Orchids: Marcella Koss
« on: January 07, 2018, 02:56:54 PM »

Here's an orchid everyone can admire: Blc. Marcella Koss 'Pink Marvel' AM/AOS. It has huge (yuge??) vibrant pink flowers that span 6-7 inches, with purple rose-tinted edges and a rich, warm yellow throat, and subtle sweet fragrance. And -- drumroll please -- it blooms in the dead of winter. This is the first time this plant has flowered, and it comes right when needed most, as our temperatures have been in the single digits the last couple of days. It has two more buds that look promising, so I expect to have flowers from Marcella for a while.

I thank you for viewing. Your thoughts and comments are welcomed.

Bob
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 03:26:18 PM by Bob_B »
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Bob_B

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Re: Winter Orchids: Marcella Koss
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 02:40:21 PM »

Very quiet. I was hoping some had opinions on the lighting. I was looking for dramatic yet not harsh. Anyone have thoughts on how the flower is lit?
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Alskoj

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Re: Winter Orchids: Marcella Koss
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 07:24:22 AM »

I would have shot it with a longer lens (at least 200mm on a FF) in natural (side) light.
How's that? Your subject is not going anywhere. Try different lenses and light.
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Bob_B

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Re: Winter Orchids: Marcella Koss
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 08:12:09 AM »

That's swell. Thanks. This is with a 100mm macro on a 7D. I'll try a 200mm next. I appreciate your input.
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Patricia Sheley

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Re: Winter Orchids: Marcella Koss
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 08:51:25 AM »

Hi Bob,
I remember seeing these in bloom at the greenhouses in Danielson CT/Logees . I lived less than half an hour away through the woods... Remarkable woman and remarkable family. Still some of the enormous ponderosa lemons growing out of the earth in below ground level original greenhouse. They create a canopy of soft filtered light for the magnolias and orchids in bloom there about now. Astounding experience to walk in when temps outside hovering round zero with sharp wind to find yourself bathed in a tropical rain forest. I once thought I'd destroyed a 1.2 portrait lense there. Focus became steadily more and more soft as I shot. It was when I learned about enclosing my used gear in buffering when moving between temperature extremes. It was about the same time that JP Caponigro and others on one of Michael R's pole trips found themselves with problems with a recently intro'd Canon. Same thing. Out on the frigid decks and into heated staterooms without buffering. That being said the first photo of mine printed in Photography was shot with a lense suffering that error in early morning light on an extremely humid day. The home where I lived then was very cold and over dry from heating well into late spring each year. I rushed out too quickly to catch the particularly lush light.
With all that Bob, it's really that which you are seeking here. A portrait? A documentation? A sensory pleasure? An "OMG, I just cannot believe how beautiful this is!"
The transition between the background and bloom seems somewhat heavy. I'm sure you could find a way to reflect into it ever so slight a bit of context of surround. If you have this plant at home you might experiment with diffusing your lighting to soften the feminine side of the portrait. Early morning light from a side window or reflected onto bloom would go a long way. Although the last comment struck me as somewhat harsh, finding oneself in an interrogation room with its intended severe intensity lighting may have been something that somehow subliminally affected his response. That too has value for your thoughts going forward. Heck, if you're enjoying this bloom, get the two of you into a dark room with some candles, a safe flat surface, camera prepared for a very long exposure at very low asa or ISO and take your time experimenting with painting light onto the bloom or having the bloom "painted and defined by light". Having enjoyed that exercise you could then apply some of the same principals with natural light. As it stands it is a good catalogue chapbook photo but I sense you wish to express more of the joys the blooms bring to your life. Best and lumine,
P.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 08:56:23 AM by Patricia Sheley »
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David Eckels

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Re: Winter Orchids: Marcella Koss
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 09:01:27 AM »

I tend to agree with Alskoj and Patricia. I think a natural light, three quarters on, might somehow emphasized the warm yellow throat leaving the petals to fade into the background some would head in your intended direction. Drama with understatement. The more or less even lighting to me, as Patricia intimated, is somewhat clinical.
It's certainly a lovely flower and worthy of study, as you realize of course.

Bob_B

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Re: Winter Orchids: Marcella Koss
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2018, 06:50:46 PM »

I thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed your comment, Patricia, and thank you for taking the time with your answer. BTW, as a youth, my folks took my brother and me to visit Logees. I still remember the floral fragrances when the door was opened. That's a keeper of a memory. Nice know you experienced it too.

Indeed, my 40+ year career as a microbiologist and microscopist often influences the way I approach my current-day photography, which sometimes ends up being too 'clinical', a term David appropriately used. That said, I have recently spent a lot of time experimenting with light and lighting, and this was another of those experiments. It was the first where I chose a single diffused, gridded striplight angled about 45 degrees above and off camera left, with a white foamboard reflector on camera right. I wanted to hear what others thought about the lighting, and your reply is most helpful in getting me to think more about refining my setup. So, more lighting experiments are definitely going to happen.

Luckily for me, this particular orchid's flower should be around for some time to come, affording me more opportunities to photograph it. I hope to post some more images using different lighting arrangements in the not too distant future. (Maybe even using my 200 mm, if I can manage it in the confined space of my basement.)

Thanks again, Patricia and David, for your advice. - Bob
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