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Ophrys sicula

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 8 May 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Series: European Terrestial Orchids

Another Ophrys species from Crete. There are two yellow ophrys-species to be found on Crete - and the differences between those two are very small for human eyes - it took us a week before we knew how to keep them seperated (but apparently bees don't have that problem beause they have a different pollinator). Ophrys sicula (Small yellow Ophrys) shown in this picture, is a very delicate plant with a thin stem. Diameter of the lip is normally less than 10mm.

Spili (Crete - Greece) - 08/04/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/400 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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GJC from Kyoto (京都), Japan

This has been a wonderful series. Each is very beautiful, and you have brought that out in your photos.

8 May 2010 9:01am

@GJC: Thank you very much again for your comment GJC. I'm glad you are enjoying this series.

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Love the focus and composition. There is that great lighting again!

8 May 2010 6:42pm

@Julie Brown: It's a small species, so rather diffucult to work at ground level... You should see the set-up for this picture ;-)

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

documenting your set up with a shot would be very interesting! > re this yellow dream - so far my favourite! Love their shallow mouths and the way they look around, like guards!

9 May 2010 9:11pm

@daniela scharnowski: I can't take a picture of the setup when my camera is on my tripod ... But i will ask a friend next time :-)
Imagine: a plant about 10 cm in hight in the middle of the thorny phrygana. (The term phrygana is used for an open dwarf scrub dominated by low, often cushion-shaped, spiny shrubs.) Tripod flat on the ground, camera with angle-vieuwfinder mounted - then searching a place to settle myself without getting thorns everywhere, looking through the camera to find a good composition and lightning.... It is impossible to get these pictures without arms, legs etc full of scratches. Phrygana is defenitely NOT my favorite habitat for making pictures ... but the flowers growing there are so beautifull i simply can't resist ! Yes! I'm crazy - and it sometimes hurts... especially in Phrygana :-)

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

Oh I´d LOOOOve to see this in picture! X)
Don´t worry about the crazyness - I guess that´s something we share due to the photoinfection ;)

10 May 2010 8:45am

@daniela scharnowski: I know you suffer photoïtis too :p I don't want to be cured ;-)

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

Very petite. I can imagine that they are much smaller than this photo! Daniela makes me grin because of her description of getting low to the ground. You could also use a beanbag tripod or some kind of ground level prop so you don't have to drop your tripod. Might be easier to carry too. As for the scratches, sleeves and pants when you crawl in the brush :) Crazy yes, but prepared [sometimes!].

11 May 2010 10:54pm

@Self-Indulgence: I used a beanbag in the past but that did not satisfy my completely. Orchid species reach from a few cm till 50 cm in hight (sometimes even a little more). The beanbag-setup has just a too limited range to work. I found a very usable tripod wit off-center ballhead so i can go from ground level to ... wherever i want for plant-images. I'm quite happy with that.
For the scratshes: always sleeves and long pants... did not help :-( Even got some thorns at places where you would not even excpect them ...
I just can't resist ... :-))))

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

I will make a note of your trials then. What I have done in my yard though and it might work elsewhere is to take with a small mat. I used a yoga mat in my yard. I can lay on it even in wet though not puddles.

12 May 2010 4:11am

@Self-Indulgence: I've seen many photographers do this and i agree, in the garden or on a pathway it is a perfect sollution... BUT i have a few remarks to make on using this in free nature...
There are many places I visited where you can see the orchids (or other rare plant-species) grow by looking for the "ly-down-imprints" left by photographers who found the plant some time (even days!) before. Some grass-fields sometimes reminds me of "Crop circles" with in the middle of every circle a very rare plant-species... For a lot of these rare plants this is a complete disaster, even if the plant itself isn't touched at all.
Lying down flat on the ground makes an imprint of your whole body in the surrounding vegetation (using a yoga mat makes that surface even bigger). Crushing the surrounding vegetation down and setting the plant free, changes for instance the shading and so the ecology of the habitat... Lying down always results in a slight compression of the surrounding ground and also changes the ecology of the habitat... (Even walking around does) It sounds maybe a bit "puristic" or "idealistic" and yes, I surely want to make pictures too, but I always try to make as low impact as possible on the habitat. That is why I bought an angle-finder, us a tripod and try to move around as little as possible and to watch every step. And sure, I sometimes ly down too, but mostly only in stony locations with almost no vegetation.
So , I agree, a mat can be a good and comfortable sollution... but not in all habitats - surely not in the most vulnerable - and these are the ones in which most orchids grow in Europe ... Orchids are delicate plants with really high demands on their habitat. In this way photographers are a (underestimated) thread of wild orchids in Europe (and that is an opinion I can find in many official scientific publications too).

Self-Indulgence from Chicagoland, United States

I agree with you in not destroying the area around what you are looking at. I think for me to lay it on my own grass was no big issue but it is not for all habitats. There must be however clothing that can protect you from being stuck by foliage, if it is even that important to you. Perhaps it is not and also it may be a badge of honor or funny memory of the burrs in your socks or sticks in your hair when shooting. Gary Hart, another photographer on Am3 invested in rain gear so he can stand in the rain so you just need camping/hiking gear so you can crawl in the brush. :)

12 May 2010 10:39pm

@Self-Indulgence: I should definitely go shopping ... :-))))

Canon EOS 400D
1/400 second
ISO 200
150 mm