Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rare and beautiful orchids

2 Days ago I visited a location in Bavaria to photograph orchids. There were 2 main species, which we were trying to find - Wanzenknabenkraut (anacamptis coriophror) and the Late Spider orchid (ophrys holoserica). After a few minutes walking we arrived at a field in a forest and close to a small lake and found the first late spider orchids. Unfortunately were a week too late and the orchid already withered, but we were still able to find some to photograh. It's the first time that I saw this orchid and I was amazed to see the variety of colors and textures on this orchid.

I also tried to photograph the full orchid, but that was quite a challenge with the high grass.
After photographing the late spider orchid, we decided to walk a little further to see if could find one of the rarest orchids in Germany - Bug orchid (anacamptis coriophora). We found a big field of bug orchids with probably about 100-150 of them and we came at the right time, as most of them were in perfect shape.

~ Bug orchid -Wanzenknabenkraut - anacamptis coriophora ~

As usual I used my Canon 7D - Sigma 150/2.8 - Sigma 24/1.8 - Tripod & Beanbag

That was probably for this year's orchid season. Maybe I get another chance in August after my exams, but that's not sure yet.

Sebastian Erras
Read more

Some orchids of the past week

I have still quite a lot of pictures of orchids at my harddrive that I haven't posted yet. So I will show you some of the orchids I photographed in the past weeks.

I start with the Fly-orchid - Fliegenraguwrz (ophrys insectifera)

The next orchid is a Fragrant Orchid - Mückenhändelwurz (gymnadenia conopsea)

European Common Twayblade - Großes Zweiblatt (listera ovata)

Lesser Butterfly-orchid - Weiße Waldhyanzithe (platanthera bifolia)

The last flower is not an orchid, it is a One-flowered Wintergreen - Kleines Moosauge (moneses uniflora). I photographed this littlw flower at the location with all the Lady Slippers and we had a great time and results with this subject!

My exams are getting closer and I have less and less time to go photographing. 2 Days ago I went photographing with a friend and we wanted to find one of the rarest orchids in Germany. We were really lucky and found a big field with a good population of this rare orchids. There were also some other orchid species I wanted to photograph for a long time. I was really happy that I took a break from studying and went photographing for an evening :-).
I will post some images from that trip later!

The images above were made with a Canon 7D - Sigma 150/2.8 (+1.4 TC) and a Tripod or Beanbag.

Sebastian Erras
Read more

Monday, June 14, 2010

~ Lady Slipper - Frauenschuh ~

The past 2 weeks I extensively photographed Lady Slippers (cypripedium calceolus). Here in the east of Bavaria we still have a big population of these orchids. In just 20-30km radius I have several big fields of them and it is always a pleasure to find new locations and photograph them. This year I found 2 new location of which one is pretty big. Last weekend I had a friend visiting me and we went photograph some orchids together. He is a very good photographer and he always tries to see a subject differently with outcome that he produces some very interesting and creative images. I was happy that I learned some stuff from him and that i was able to produce some cool images. Then this weekend I had 2 other friends visiting me to photograph orchids. All of them are members of the GDT Youth Group and I was happy to host our first gathering. We had a lot of fun and made some cool images although most of the lady slippers already withered.
As it was not the first time that I photographed these orchids, my goal was to create some different and unusual images of these flower.

Here are some images

For all images I used my Canon 7D and 12-24/4 , 24/1.8, 50/1.8 , 150/2.8, beanbag or a tripod.

I am pretty happy with the results and I hope that it won't be my last time to photograph these beautiful flowers.
I also photographed a few more orchids and I will post some images of them later.

Sebastian Erras
Read more

Friday, June 4, 2010

Frog Orchid and some bad luck

This time I want to show another rarer orchid in Germany - the frog orchid (Coeloglossum viride). In the past this orchid has seen a big decline, but luckily the situation in Bavaria is not that worse yet. It was very rainy day and I still went in the afternoon to a location where I suspected to find this orchid. It took quite some time to actually find it, as I expected it to be bigger. The frog orchid can be about 10-40cm high and the orchids at this location were rather small than tall. After I found the first one I quickly found the rest of them and there were actually a lot. After 10 Minutes it stopped raining and it got more comfortable to photograph in the field. At this location I was also surprised to find another orchid, which I wouldn't have expected there - the early purple orchid (orchis mascula), but I only found 2 individuals.

Images were taken with a 7D - Sigma 150/2.8 - Bean Bag

This morning the sun finally came back to Bavaria and I met with a friend to shoot Lady Slippers in my area. We had a great morning with some great images and fun. After a few hours I went back home, cause I had to leave to Switzerland in the afternoon. I also planned to take my camera and try to shot some orchids there. When I arrived in the evening in Switzerland I unloaded my car and checked my camera bag, when I noticed that it was a little lighter than usual. So I opened the bag and saw that there was no camera :-(. I forgot my 7D at home when I took it out of the bag to review some images from this morning and forgot to put it back in my bag. As if this wouldn't already be worse enough, I found a field full of orchids just 100m in front of our apartment and I will have no time to come back in the next weeks. So here I am with no camera, all my lenses, tripods and all the rest and a beautiful field of of orchids just in front of me and I can' t take pictures.
At least I have my iPhone with me so I can try to use that to take some pictures.
More pics of orchis will come next weekend when I have my camera back.
Sebastian Erras
Read more

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Military Orchid - Helmknabenkraut

Last week I visited a location in the city of Ratisbona with a great amount of military orchids (orchis militaris). The location is on a industrial terrain and I had to ask permission first to enter the terrain. The owner was really friendly and helpful and showed me the location.
The first day I went the was during midday and it was pretty windy. Unfortunately I forgot my lensplate and I don't have a spare one so I couldn't use my tripod that day.
I was really impressed by the amount of military orchids. I guess there were about 200-300 orchids there. I was just right on time as the first orchids started to wither. I was also surprised to find about 6 albino version of the military orchid.
At the moment I am trying more and more to get habitat pictures, but I am still not satisfied with the results. So I have to keep practising.

Military Orchid - orchis militaris - Helmknabenkraut

I used a Canon 7D - Sigma 150/2.8 - Sigma 20/1.8 - Tokina 12-24/4 - Canon 70-200/4 IS - Tripod

Actually this morning I planned to go to the Lady Slippers, but it is raining Cats and Dogs here at the moment and I planned to look for some other orchids in my area today. I hope it will stop raining his afternoon so that I can go on with my planning.

Sebastian Erras
Read more