Puttin’ on the Ritz

You may have noticed I have a predilection for wild things, gritty things, but at times I am drawn to the finer things in life as well.  Today I went to Jacksonville to visit my friend, Jenn, and we decided to go to the orchid show at the Garden Center.  I can’t grow them at all, but I do like orchids and they have some happy memories for me, so I was eager to go.   Since we also planned to go to the Downtown Library, I expected to just take a few orchid shots, enjoy the flowers and save my energy for the library.

What happened was that I found myself taking photo after photo, trying to find angles and lighting that could capture the beauty of these flowers.  Many of them failed, because of the lighting, because I couldn’t get the distance to focus correctly, because someone stepped in front of me just as I clicked the shutter, or just because of my inexperience at indoor flower shoots.  Some of the failures are interesting, like the shot at left, some taught me something, and some just made me glad that I didn’t have to pay for film.  This photo has many problems, but it has an appealing suggestiveness.

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Some of the shots did come out nicely though, with just the right light coming in through the window, a background that made the flowers pop, or my own luck at choosing just the right settings.

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Although there were some orchids that looked like the corsage you got for high school prom, there were many there that were so much more interesting and unusual than that.  There are an amazing array of orchids, with different shapes, sizes and colors.  Some are beautiful, some border on the ugly, and almost all are interesting.  My iPhoto wanted me to name the faces in many of these photos because orchids so often do appear to have faces.

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Some of the flowers are lush and thick with blooms, while others are spare, more stem than flower.

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Orchid colors are amazing, with all kinds of different color combinations.  There are pink and green orchids and yellow and red ones, and even some browns.

Others are colors you might expect in flowers, but so perfectly done.  Just the palest blush of pink and yellow on an almost pure white flower.

Of all the orchids I saw, I believe that this one may be my favorite.  It was above my head, and in front of a window, so there were no other colors vying for attention, and the lighting was perfect.

There is a spider in this spray of buds, but you have to look closely to see him.  I wish I could claim to have been observant enough to have taken this shot for that spider, but I honestly did not realize it was there until I was looking through my hoard of images after I got home.

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