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Photographing the Orchidaceous models

You can see excellent examples of orchid photography on internet. Have you tried to master the skill of capturing these beauties on a film roll? I tried it with mixed result. I started taking pictures of orchid flowers out of necessity; we had to submit photographs at the time of thesis submission. So I ventured into field photography as a novice and whatever I have learnt about this subject is entirely self-taught.

Initially, I used a manual Vivitar SLR camera, which is now lying forgotten somewhere in my boxes (unfortunately!). I remember that while clicking photographs with this camera, I had to keep in mind a lot of things; like the time of the day, available light, exposure, depth etc (many I have already forgotten!). To take pictures of orchids growing on top of the tree branches I had to buy a zoom lens. Due to monetary constraints, I could not buy a zoom lens for magnifying purposes; so instead I innovated with a magnifying glass. The glass was removed from the holder and fixed to the lens of the camera. Here I had to use a camera stand as focusing was not possible otherwise.

My preferred film roll was Kodak (ISO 100); I did not get sharp pictures with Fuji. I also used ISO 400 when photographing outdoors (in the jungle). But it was not possible to strictly use ISO 100 indoors and ISO 400 outdoors, so I tried to adjust the ISO settings on the camera for that. Here I would I to point out the whether used indoors or outdoors ISO 100 gave better results.

In the beginning, some of my roll went for developing unexposed! I learnt for my mistakes (after a lot of verbal bashing from my guide and husband!) and was finally able to load the roll properly on the camera.

In the Vivitar SLR I had to first set the ISO, then the program on the dial present on the top. After this shutter time and the depth had to be adjusted taking into consideration the subject of photography, location etc. While adjust I had to keep peeping into the eye piece of the camera to check whether the adjustment are okay or not. This was helped by an indicator which flashed green, yellow or red, within the eye piece. Red light indicated that light available is less and green was a go ahead signal. I donít remember the function of the yellow light!

Now the old ways of photography are slowly fading away in this age of digitalization. There are many programs available on internet, free or paid, by which you can retouch or improve photographs. I have also switched to a digital Fuji camera, FinePix S3300. I have yet to master it, as the pictures I take with it are nowhere near those of my pal Vivitar :-)

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