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Bee(utiful) Orchid

Bee(utiful) Orchid
Photo Information
Copyright: Adrian Warren (AdrianW) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 185 N: 215] (710)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-06-14
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Canon EOS10D, EF 100mm f2.8 Macro
Exposure: f/16, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Orchids (wild), Wild Native British Orchids [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-06-17 20:22
Viewed: 7005
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Bee Orchid
Ophrys apifera

Orchids are weird. In the case of most British species downright peculiar might be a better term ;)

Why are they odd? Well their seeds are extremely small, so small in most cases that they require a fungus to invade them before they can actually grow into a successful plant since they don't have enough nutrients inside the seed to do it themselves. The symbiosis of fungus and orchid forms what's known as a mycorrhiza.

With Ophrys species (like the Bee Orchid) that mycorrhiza then grows for up to eight years before the plant forms a single flower spike. Once the flower spike has set seed the plant then often dies since the climate in the UK is marginal for Ophrys species.

As you can imagine this means that successful orchid growth is tricky - if there are fertilizers spread then the mychorrhiza may fail since the symbiosis goes out of balance, and fungicides are worse still - since they usually result in the death of mychorrhiza altogether. When you then bear in mind that the one flower spike after eight years is the only chance of setting seed, you start to understand why modern agricultural techniques have destroyed the habitat of many of the orchid species :(

Yes, they're pretty, but please don't pick the flowers - that one flower was probably the only chance that plant has at reproducing!

100ISO RAW converted using DPP.
Resized for TE.

Lighting was provided directly by a single Speedlite 550EX off-shoe with a stofen diffuser.
Remote release and mirror lockup used.

Fisher, ellis49, chiliu, dew77, Janice, JeanMichel, PDP, gerhardt, Luc, cmarzano has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To gerhardt: f16 and lighting...AdrianW 2 06-19 18:09
To sAner: Thankyou :)AdrianW 1 06-18 10:06
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-06-17 20:49]

Hi Adrian,
Excellent capture and well done on the composition.
You managed your lighting well it adds a warm hue to the subject.
Excellent work


  • Great 
  • nofer Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1190 W: 366 N: 811] (2307)
  • [2005-06-17 23:08]

Muito boa macro. Excelente foto e composição.

Beautiful piicture, Adrian.
I like the dark BG. Very good details, nice colours and well composed.
Excellent work.

  • Great 
  • honza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 533 W: 0 N: 720] (4197)
  • [2005-06-18 0:38]

Superb photo of the bee orchid. Beautifull composition, perfect sharpness and colors. I like orchid very much mainly species of Ophrys family.

Very beautiful picture!
Perfect composition,great colour,sharpness,lighting.SUPERB SHOT!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-06-18 3:27]

Hello Adrian!
Very nice close up.Clear details,dark BG and composition are wonderful.TFS...:-)

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-06-18 4:14]
  • [+]

Hello Adrian,

It's great to see you posting again. This is an excellent, excellent shot, even better than the version I saw online yesterday (it is the same shot, right?). The details are tack sharp, exposure is spot on and I really like the blurred and oof BG. Did you loose the EXIF Data? I would like to know what Aperture and Shutterspeed you used. Extremely well done & TFS!


Excellent shot with nice POV and compo.
Wonderful background and framing.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-06-18 4:46]

Hi Adrian, very artistic capture here, the orchid looks so elegant, not peculiar! Yes, but reading your notes, they are weird!
Beautiful composition, the light on it is perfect, and its colours and details are superb. Well done.

I really appreciate this image, Adrian, as well as the sensible note about orchid's fragility. It's always thrilling to add a new orchid in the collection. This one is well known in Normandy due to it's large adaptability to different environment. The artistic touch you are conveying here is a beautiful tribute to these strange flowers. I like the composition and how you managed all parameters to come this superb result. Thanks for adding it in the theme.

Magic shot Adrian. Wonderful subject. Awesome colours. Top rate composition! Congrats.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-06-18 12:26]

Hi Adrian, this is a superb shot. The dark BG really kicks this Orchid off. The composition is a real winner and the focus is spot on. It really is beautiful.

Adrian, this is a spendid capture of the orchid. I have a couple but without any ID's. I am still looking for a good book on SA orchids though.

Your flash control with the diffuser is exceptionally well managed, only the tiniest hotspot noticable in the flower. Very little traces of shadows too. Strong upright compo and the flower possitioned on the left is unusual but I like it. Very natural greens. I am just wondering why you stopped at F16 and not F22?

It's really a great shot and I still have to figure out how to get some light on the BG, mine is mostly black. :) Very well done. BTW, I didn't know of the seeds being so small, very interesting read. TFS.

Very interesting plant.
Colorful photo, good sharpness and details.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-06-26 11:46]

Hello Adrian!
Personal assessment of the photo: excellent.
Strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you very much for sharing.
Have a good week!

Magnifica vision lateral de a Ophrys con su señuelo de abeja me gustaria cultivarla en mi jardin junto a ottras terrestres a pesar de dificultoso que resulta

This orchid is so beautiful, I love the black background. The purple color is so rich, the green soft. The lighting is perfect, it really shows off the bee of the orchid, great information on the flower, well done.

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