Botanica, the botanical garden in Wichita, has installed a number of sculptures in the gardens. Most range from “meh” to kitschy. I rarely bother to include them in my photographs. Currently the people who run the institution are installing a bunch of figures made of Legos in awkward spots through the grounds, such as the pansy above. I hope they’re temporary. They have novelty value and might attract a few additional visitors to the gardens, but there are much more interesting things you can do with Legos.
Unfortunately not temporary are the panels at the south entrance of the not-particularly-Shakespearean garden. They’ve been there as long as I’ve visited Botanica, and they look a little worse every year. (Right-click and open in a new window to see at maximum ugliness.)
I get tired of lugging the tripod along on photo expeditions, so I’ve been looking for alternative methods of taking close-ups. All but the last picture here were taken with an inexpensive but quite nice 18-55mm zoom lens, with a diffuser on the hotshoe flash. The real test of the system will come at the orchid show in two weeks.
As always, click to enlarge and see in better color. To see at full size, right-click and open in a new window.
Is it possible to take hand-held photos with a macro lens and flash? Yes, it is, but it’s difficult to hold the camera still enough to focus continuously on the right spot. These were taken with my 100mm lens. (These were taken at home, not at Botanica.)
At the orchid show last weekend, I got careless and took my checkbook along. Big mistake. I now have half a shelf of allegedly “easy” orchids under lights in my kitchen. As usual, click to embiggen.
To view a stereo picture, cross your eyes as you look at the image pair until you see three images. Focus on the center image, and the image should snap into three dimensions. It’s not difficult, but it does take a little practice.
Not pictured: the Masdevallia I took home. The dealer claims that he’s been able to accustom many pleurothallids to the Kansas climate. If I can keep this one thriving, I might try growing a Dracula species next year.
Update: Better pictures of Phalaenopsis equestris, and one of Masdevallia Redwing.