Sunday, February 10th please join us at the Toronto Botanical Gardens Orchid Show

Sunday morning 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. is the time when photographers may use tripods.  At other times hand held cameras are permitted.  Tickets must be booked in advance to attend during the special photographers’ time.  Tickets may be purchased here for $20.00:

Since only a set number are available they should be purchased asap.

Those wishing to carpool to this event should meet at the Toronto Rd. car park lot near the 401 in Port Hope prior to 7:45 a.m. for a 7:45 a.m. departure time.  David O’Rourke has agreed to meet everyone there.  Please let Sandra know if you are planning to be at the car park so that David can be given a list of participants. 

Contact Sandra at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, February 8th.

The Toronto Botanical Gardens are at 777 Lawrence Avenue E. (the corner of Lawrence and Leslie).  Take the 401 to the Leslie Street exit and go south to Lawrence.

What to bring if you have it:  tripod, remote or cable trigger, ring flash, flash with diffuser or small soft box for a speedlight, macro lens.

Orchids can be more challenging to photograph than most other flowers for several reasons: their thick petals are waxy and reflect light, which can result in unsightly overblown highlights, and the larger blooms are very deep, requiring a small aperture (high number).

Lighting considerations:
  1.  Using a pop-up flash, off camera flash or a ring flash, either with a tripod or handheld. Keeping in mind that the waxy substance of the flowers will reflect the light from the flash, resulting in overblown highlights, a diffuser is a must.
     *   If using an off-camera flash, attach a soft box or any other kind of diffuser.
     *   If using the pop-up flash on your camera, an easy, inexpensive way to diffuse the light is to tape a plain white piece of paper onto the front of your pop-up flash.
     *   Using a ring flash
  2.  Using ambient light with a tripod and trigger release.  When using ambient light, a tripod and trigger release are a must in order to avoid camera shake due to the long exposure required. If you don’t own a trigger release (cable or remote), you can use your camera’s self-timer.

A couple of points to remember with respect to flash and shutter speed: the intensity of the flash controls the amount of light onto your subject.  Your shutter speed controls the amount of ambient light; a higher shutter speed will allow less ambient light onto the sensor, resulting in a darker background; by contrast, a slower shutter speed allows more ambient light in, resulting in a lighter background.

Aperture considerations:
Some of the larger orchids can be quite deep, requiring an aperture as small as f/22 to f/32 in order to get the entire flower in focus in a close-up. When using apertures this small (high number), a tripod is recommended to reduce camera shake, and a low ISO for optimal image quality. If lens diffraction or loss of sharpness due to a very small aperture (high number) is a concern, focus stacking can be used.

A wider aperture (small number) will blur the background and help isolate a single flower in a cluster, or a part of a bloom. It is also an excellent way to produce softer, dreamier images. Look for details that catch the eye – a beautiful curve, a soft ruffle or a unique feature in a bloom. Using selective focus to draw the eye is a creative and fun way to shoot.

Be wary of your background; experiment with different angles, apertures, lighting and areas of focus, and have fun!

Here are some websites with photographs and further instructions on shooting orchids.