All about Hoofbeats & Footprints

Soft and Lovely

Winter is coming and at last the temperatures have dropped and the ground has dried up a bit. It’s good to not be walking in the mud every day. Winter is a favorite time of year for me to go out and explore the great outdoors with duck season in full swing.

However, it is also a great time to go indoors at local botanical gardens as January is also peak time for orchid blooms. Longwood Gardens offers a tremendous Orchid display throughout January but this time I wanted to stay local and visited Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory  in Baltimore to enjoy the orchid display.

Although I packed my three favorite lenses in the bag, the Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8, Canon 100-400mm with extension tubes and my favorite Lensbaby Velvet 85mm, I ended up only using one lens on this visit. The Canon 100mm Macro lens is a versatile and sharp lens and fun to play with. I paired it with the Manfrotto Tripod with 90 degree horizontal arm which is super for macro photography and can hold up to 19 pounds. Well built, this tripod is a great starter tripod for those looking for one to support their gear.

I love the soft and ethereal look that a Lensbaby Velvet 85mm can create, but the look can also be created in another way if one cannot afford a Lensbaby lens. Purchasing two inexpensive UV Filters from Amazon I applied Vaseline around the edges of one of them and stacked the second one on top to keep it clean. Installing this UV/Vaseline filters onto the macro lens I then selected F/2.8 to really soften the focus on the orchids.


For those that haven’t photographed orchids before, let’s just say they aren’t easy. Between the colors and the distracting background from the displays it can be challenging to get an image that works.

Join me in early February to learn how to capture your own Botanical Art images. Great techniques and tools are discussed to help strengthen your compositions. For more information click through to Capital Photography Center.

It was wonderful to play in the garden today and being able to appreciate the fine details and uniqueness of orchids. Now to get back out into winter.

6 replies »

  1. I always enjoy and learn something from your posts. I am going to have to try the vaseline trick. Orchids at Longwood start on the 19th!

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