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Paph lowii

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gore42

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This plant (which is in double spike this year) has been a very easy, reliable bloomer for me, so I keep it around even though the blooms are not that incredible for a lowii. The colors this winter are very saturated, even more than comes through in the photo... strangely, there's a bit of purple spotting at the base of the dorsal sepal, which I haven't noticed before. Bought this at a local nursery about 2 years ago, along with one of its sibs.



and



I'm also experimenting with a new lighting setup for my photography, which I like so far.

- Matthew Gore
 

Heather

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I like it too, it looks as though the pouch is illuminated from the inside. You can also really see how the color of the inside of the pouch shows through to the outside. Very nice photos, I think, and not a bad lowii either!
 

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The lowii seem early this year.

Nice petal stance on that one Matt.

For as easy as they are, I'll always keep lowii in my collection.
 

GuRu

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gore42 said:
...even though the blooms are not that incredible for a lowii. The colors this winter are very saturated, even more than comes through in the photo...Matthew Gore
Hello Matthew,

Don't be too strict with your P. lowii !!!!!:wink:
When I look at your photos I can't agree with you!!! In my eyes your P.lowii is above- average particularly due to the colouration and the saturation. I like it very much and I was proud mine would flower in this quality!!!:confused:
I saw a lot of worse P. lowii already!!!!

Best regards from Germany, GuRu.
 
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gore42

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Thanks everyone :)

Lance,

The lighting setup is this: I bought a 500W, single head, halogen work-light ($13 at Harbor Freight). This is the kind of thing that people use on a construction job-site, I guess.

I didn't get one with a tripod, though those are not very expensive either. I duct taped mine to a microphone stand I already had instead (it's about 4 feet high), such that it points directly at the plain white ceiling. This way, the ceiling acts basically as a big soft box, and I get some nice diffuse light.

I don't exactly like the light angle, so I'm experimenting with reflectors, but I do like the light quality. I'll take a photo of the setup later, if you think it might be useful.

- Matt
 

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gore42 said:
Thanks everyone :)

Lance,

The lighting setup is this: I bought a 500W, single head, halogen work-light ($13 at Harbor Freight). This is the kind of thing that people use on a construction job-site, I guess.

I didn't get one with a tripod, though those are not very expensive either. I duct taped mine to a microphone stand I already had instead (it's about 4 feet high), such that it points directly at the plain white ceiling. This way, the ceiling acts basically as a big soft box, and I get some nice diffuse light.

I don't exactly like the light angle, so I'm experimenting with reflectors, but I do like the light quality. I'll take a photo of the setup later, if you think it might be useful.

- Matt
Thanks Matt. I understand what you are doing. But you might post pictures of your set up for others.

Just an idea to add a little fill light to the face of the flower would be to use a 20w halogen (like used for accent light) close to the flower at a slight angle. Or better yet one on each side.

I like your diffused light. What exposure are you getting from the 500w bounced off the ceiling?
 
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gore42

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I don't know what exposure I'm getting... these were all taken with my Nikon point and shoot which doesn't give me any exposure info, and I haven't pulled out a light meter or better camera. If I had to guess I'd say that with my 35mm, it would be about a 1/15th at f4

The reason that I went to overhead light is that I don't like all of the highlights that I get when I have lights in front of the bloom, especially on glossy ones. Using the overhead light cuts that down to a minimum.

I have an adjustable screen on the ceiling, so I'm going to try to angle it down a bit to get better front lighting.

I'll post a couple of photos in a bit. :)

- Matt
 

gonewild

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gore42 said:
I don't know what exposure I'm getting... these were all taken with my Nikon point and shoot which doesn't give me any exposure info, and I haven't pulled out a light meter or better camera. If I had to guess I'd say that with my 35mm, it would be about a 1/15th at f4

The reason that I went to overhead light is that I don't like all of the highlights that I get when I have lights in front of the bloom, especially on glossy ones. Using the overhead light cuts that down to a minimum.

I have an adjustable screen on the ceiling, so I'm going to try to angle it down a bit to get better front lighting.

I'll post a couple of photos in a bit. :)

- Matt
I look forward to seeing the next pictures.
The little halogen fill lights I mentioned don't make much of a highlight but rather more like reflected light. I like your lighting as is if you could just add a little light to the inside of the dorsal and pouch without overlighting the whole flower it would be very nice.
 
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gore42

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Lance,

I just experimented with adjusting the angle of the reflector, and it didn't seem to help. The lighting looks almost the same (except that it looks as though I exposed the first one a little bit more).

I might look into getting an additional light, although, up to now, I've either been using one light or no lights, and I hate to make my setup more complex... that just means I won't be able to get as much work done. I may try a small reflector in front of the bloom, though.




This is what my setup looks like atm:



That's just a piece of black velvet hung in front of the fireplace. The curtains are closed so that there's no natural light coming in.

You can see that on the ceiling I have a projection screen which flips down (it's actually upside down so that I can use it as a reflector). The photo above was taken with that screen at a 45 degree angle to the ceiling, but as you can see, it didn't make a whole lot of difference.

- Matthew Gore
 

gonewild

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Matt, adding more lights definately makes the setup more complicated. That's why photo studios exist!
The color and mood in your image is really nice. It will be even better if you can just add a little light to the front to give it a "center focal punch".
Now the dorsal has a little backlighting which is gorgeous but with some light to bring out just a tad more detail in the dorsal color and pouch it will be perfect.
Good work!
 
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gore42

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My next three shots:

The first was shot with the plant about 1.5 feet closer to the ceiling, so more of the screen was in front of the plant.



The next one had a small reflector in front of and below the front bloom. I didn't really like how light it made the pouch.



and finally, I used a small reflector (piece of typing paper) on the edge of the flood light to reflect some light onto the bloom. It gave a decent amount of fill, but also produced the highlights that I was trying to avoid on pouch.




All three of them have slightly better lighting in the front, but the dramatic effect of the overhead light is lost. They generally look a bit more flat.

Looks like I'll have to keep experimenting to get something that I really like that is also quick and simple.

- Matt
 
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gore42

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Lance,

My training in photography was in photojournalism, about 10 years ago. In my program, there was one required studio-photography class, and it drove me crazy. I would always end up using about 10 different light sources and spend days in the studio when I should have been spending a few hours. If I let myself, I'll start doing that now, too... and I really don't want to.

Might play around with it a little bit more, though. :)

- Matt
 

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gore42 said:
Lance,

My training in photography was in photojournalism, about 10 years ago. In my program, there was one required studio-photography class, and it drove me crazy. I would always end up using about 10 different light sources and spend days in the studio when I should have been spending a few hours. If I let myself, I'll start doing that now, too... and I really don't want to.

Might play around with it a little bit more, though. :)

- Matt
Well, in that case all your shots are just fine.:wink:

Just get a camera that gives a little better exposure latitude and be done with it. :poke:
 
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