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Orchid Cactus


Creative Digital Winner

Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards


Hilo, Hawai‘i, USA

by Donald Brown

Hilo, Hawai‘i, USA

“A friend who owns this night-blooming orchid cactus, whose fragrant blossoms last only one night, called and told me that a bud was enlarging and it would bloom that very evening. I brought the plant home and set up an impromptu mini-studio in my living room, using a black velvet backdrop. The photo shoot was conventional: metering was center-weighted TTL at f/11 and the flash exposure compensation was bracketed. I made multiple slide images over an eight-hour period.  

“I selected four slides and digitally scanned them with a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000ED. Using Adobe® Photoshop® Quick Mask mode, I layered each image of the flower onto a black canvas, positioning them in an overlaying cascade. When I was finished with the layout, I flattened the image and saved it as a TIFF file.”

Nikon F100; 105mm macro lens; shutter speed unrecorded at f/11; Fujichrome Velvia 50; SB 20 strobe (off-camera); Photoflex mini soft box; Photoflex reflector; Gitzo tripod with StudioBall head.

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