Monday, June 8, 2009

Orchids and Anger Management

Whenever I am about to blow a fuse the orchid igloo is the place to head. Watching things grow tends to ease the pace of everyday living.

Orchids are easy things to love and it saddens me to hear them thought of only as status symbols. Worse. The habit of growing plants to merely win show prizes simply amazes. There must be better ways for the public to go see orchids other than packed into badly lit community halls.

Flash! Click! Flash! Lights pop as folk take gad-awful shots of spectacular blossoms. The shots then turn up on the net giving NO idea of the nature of the flower. Hate camera flash. And never use it. Natural light, hand held cameras for me.

Capturing orchids in the right light means early up. Soft light. No bleached out white highlights. No doomsday black shadows. Just lovely soft middle spectrum colour. You're out there before sparrow thingo, of course. And best put the camera away before 9 am in Australia's harsh light. Orchids love warmth and light, but avoid sunburn like the plague. Like people really. Test-and-wait, test-and-wait until the morning light hits perfectly. The gorgeous flower is yours forever.

Massed displays at the Singapore airport are legend, of course. And a morning spent among the orchids in Singapore's Botanic Gardens can sweep away jet lag and travel tension. Time well spent. But back home, it's the old orchid igloo that saves my day.

Mine are pretty much an eclectic lot. Mainly vanda and dendrobium. Epiphytes (air growing) plants that cling to rocks and trees. Massed display is not my thing, rather preferring to have something flowering at different times of the seasons. You may care to see a few samples. Click here and let me know what you think of soft light, no flash photography.

And remember. Orchids and orchid growers are really nice people. But best not approach too close on show days. Exhibitors too stretched out, they're in real need of anger management.

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