Tag Archives: sharing

Orchid Hunter Australia Videos

Last year when I browsed through YouTube for orchid videos, I did not find many that were interesting.  However the other day, I had another look on-line  and it appears that a few Australians have been uploading their videos of orchids, and I would like to share with you some of them.

The two that leaped out at me are called Orchid Hunter Australia 1 & 2, filmed and produced by Julian Pitcher.  They are of Victorian orchids, but apply to orchid hunting right across Australia.  Let me congratulate Julian on doing such a great job, and I really look forward to seeing more of these videos.

Orchid Hunter Australia 1

In this first videos, Julian introduces us to some of the basic things to look for when orchid hunting, and I felt he really captured what it is like to look for orchids, and how they can blend into the bush.

Orchid Hunter Australia 2

This is probably my favourite of the two, as looking for orchids turns into a military expedition.  It really feels like that sometimes!  It was also good to find information about other plants and animals in the video, as they all influence the whole ecosystem.

Corysanthes diemenica

This is a short film  by Richard Davion which captures some of the joy of finding orchids.

What I enjoy about seeing films of orchids is that it captures the three diemnsional feel of the flowers, which is lacking in orchid photography.  Later on I would like to spent time producing my own videos with narration, and helping in identifying orchids.  But in the meantime I will enjoy what others are producing.  It is about making other aware that these tiny terrestrial orchids are there, and need to be protected.

For other orchid videos please visit the video page, or my YouTube channel.  Please help me share these videos.

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Our orchid photographs

I took my first photographs of native orchids in February 2005 at a monthly general meeting of the Native Orchid Society of South Australia (NOSSA).  Orchid growers bring their flowering plants to the monthly meetings to show them and to compete for the best orchids.

2005 Feb 017

This is one of my first photographs of an orchid taken with
a digital camera without a flash in February 2005.  This is a Sarcochilus hybrid.

My aim at the start was quite simple.  I just wanted to get to know the names of the orchids, because I did not know any of them at all.  Three of my photographs from the February meeting turned up in the electronic version of the March NOSSA Journal, including the one above.

In the March 2006 issue of the Journal, because there were few plants at the meeting to photograph, the Editor compiled a page of photographs of orchid leaves which I had taken on a field trip to Scott Conservation Park the previous winter.  Some of these same photographs appear in my book, Start with the Leaves, including the two of the photographs on the front cover.  One couple told me that they took this page with them into the field to identify orchids before they flowered.

Leporella fimbriata 005

This beautiful, newly emerged leaf of Leporella fimbriata is one of my first orchid
photographs taken in the field.  It features prominently on the cover of my book.

My reasons, then, for photographing orchids were so that I could get to know them, and to share them with others.

Incidentally, some of the flowers are strikingly beautiful.  When my children were helping me prepare the book, they were not happy with pictures that just showed the features relevant for identification; they wanted each photograph to be attractive and balanced.

We went on NOSSA field trips to learn about orchids and photographed them to help with this.  We went with our compact cameras while the photographic enthusiasts took their SLR cameras and their tripods.  We found the digital cameras to be adequate for our purposes and all of the pictures on this blog have been taken with either a compact digital camera or a smart phone.

In May 2011 NOSSA began having a photographic competition to give members the opportunity to share their best photographs.  I entered my favourite photograph of Diuris orientis, which I regard as the most photogenic of our orchids because of its size and depth of rich colours.  This photograph was included in the header in an earlier version of the banner for the Trees For Life website.  This was the first photograph to win this competition.

Diuris orientis 026

Diuris orientis photographed in full sunlight on 4 October 2005.
Notice the splendid rich colours.

We have seen a wonderful selection of photographs from members of NOSSA at the general meetings since this first competition.  The only prize is to have the photograph displayed for a month on the NOSSA website.  Unlike most of the followers here who share their photographs on the net, most of the participants have not shown their pictures before.  This event has been about sharing photographs rather than winning prizes.

The people who judged the orchids at the general meeting had set an example of having two of them speak about the orchids that had been “benched.”  So, the practice with the picture competition has been to use this as an opportunity to have somebody speak about the orchids photographed.  There was also an informative Journal article about the monthly winning photograph and a similar post on the NOSSA website.  This educational aspect makes the competition worthwhile.

The pictures displayed at the meetings are only seen by the 30-40 people attending the monthly meetings, but I hope a larger audience will be able to see them.

What bothers me is the thought of hundreds of photographs stored on home computers that have hardly been seen by anyone and are just waiting for a hard drive to crash when they will be lost for ever.  Some may be historical showing orchids where they no longer occur.  I would like to explore this idea on a later post.