Monday, April 25, 2011

Orchidophelia - the Ottawa Orchid Society's Show

I attended the Ottawa Orchid Society's show this weekend.  They thoughtfully invite photographers to bring their tripods on Sunday morning to photograph the show, and so I came prepared with my tripod and cable release.  Here are some of my favourite images.

Still Life with Orchids

All of these photographs were made without a flash.  The lighting was quite good this year.  It has been quite hard in the past to find a good background, but there were a number of good opportunites at this year's show.

A "Monster" Orchid

I couldn't shake the image of an alien monster when I saw this colourful orchid.

White Orchid

I love the variety of shapes and colours in the orchid family.  I have photographed a number of native orchids to this area -- Showy Ladyslipper, Yellow Ladyslipper, Pink Ladyslipper, Rose Pogonia, Grass Pink and Bog Candle, and it's fascinating to see some of their more exotic cousins.

. . . Rob Williams

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Tilt Shift" photographs and photographer Tristan Greszko

I've been seeing a number of photographers using a technique that people are calling "tilt-shift", or "miniature".  Simply put, you narrow your depth-of-field dramatically to a narrow band in the photograph, putting both foreground and background strongly out of focus.  The effect makes the scene in the photograph look like a miniature model (like photographs of a model train set).

To be honest, I'm not a big fan.  Occasionally I see an interesting photograph, but most often, these photographs look more like a gimmick than a serious photograph.  I also dislike the term "tilt-shift" for this technique.  Yes, tilt-shift lenses can create this effect, but that's not why photographers use it. 

However, photographer Tristan Greszko has created a video called A Tiny Day in the Jackson Hole Backcountry, that is really fun to watch (use full-screen!).  Moreover, he has some great skiing, mountain and nature photography on his website.  It's really worth a visit.

So, maybe the gimmick works after all.

. . . Rob Williams