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Steve Foss

Spending time with the fairy slipper (images added)

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Hey all:

Been running like crazy the last couple weeks with a couple weeks more running to come, but was able finally to locate a prime fairy slipper (calypso orchid) bloom in a cedar swamp near Bemidji. The whole plant is only 5 inches tall, and in the two loose vertical images, the top of the flower to the bottom of the stalk shown is about 3 inches.

I have been working for 4 years to find the rare and ephemeral fairy slipper in bloom, and until now something has always come between us. In this case, I had today and a bit of tomorrow to locate and shoot them, a small amount of time sandwiched between weddings, portraits, travel to other photo locations and such. I breathed a sigh of relief and reward when I finally spotted this little fella.

All with the Canon 1D Mk3 at iso800.

Canon 100 f2.8 macro, 1/15 @ f11, handheld

3593081875_c36bddc2f0_o.jpg

Canon 200 f2.8L, three Kenko extension tubes, 1/85 @ f4, handheld

3593890192_a23246809d_o.jpg

Canon 100 macro, 1/125 @ f4.5, handheld

3593890334_b39482b7d8_o.jpg

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Certainly worth the wait. Love 2 and 3. Thanks for taking the time to post your shooting info. Very helpful.

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Very nice Steve! 1/15 sec hand held! Image stabilization or not...that is one steady hand you've got.

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Thanks, all. WCS, no IS on the 100 macro, but the camera was basically sitting on its side on the ground with my hands bracing it, and with that monster burst rate on the Mk3, if you trigger a burst and hold it as steady as possible, the images toward the middle of the burst tend to be sharper than those at the start and finish. Just one more technique to keep in mind.

I was there again today and found many more fairy slippers, some in clusters of three. I'll add some images of them to this post later.

Also found lots of large-flowered trillium, which I'd not photographed before. It was mighty windy out in the open, so the trillium were a challenge, but the fairy slippers, deep in that cedar swamp and hugging the swamp floor, were in calm conditions.

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Here are some more examples of calypso orchids from today. I found several clumps with three blooms per clump, as well as quite a few singles.

All with the Canon 30D and Canon 100 f2.8 macro. Almost all were handheld because of the combination of low-growing flowers and cramped quarters.

A discerning eye will note the warmer color temp from today's images. Aside from just liking warmer rather than cooler color temps better, I believe the latter more accurately reflected the scene than the former, and will eventually make those changes to the initial images.

iso400, 1/100 @ f8, handheld

3597017622_a4abc48747_o.jpg

iso400, 1/125 @ f6.3, handheld

3596208561_464d0e1065_o.jpg

iso400, 1/125 @ f4, handheld

3597017180_d58858b746_o.jpg

iso100, 1/50 @ f4.5, tripod, remote shutter release

3597016972_066610ffc9_o.jpg

iso400, 1/160 @f4, handheld

3596207833_532120eaf8_o.jpg

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The Calypso Orchid aka Venus Lady Slipper! My absolute favorite wild flower. So delicate and gorgeous. Wonderful photos Steve. I haven't seen them in a few years. Thanks for the memories.

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