Additional images can be viewed here.
2012 (February) was a particularly good winter for orchids in Southern California green houses. The above series of orchid images was taken at the LA Arboretum in Arcadia. The Arboretum had experienced a severe loss of large trees in record breaking wind storms the month before. The green house horticulturist theorized that it may have been the extra light reaching the orchids, due to the downed trees, that may have encouraged the aggressive blooming.
Sometimes when you are concentrating on an image, you'll often hear comments from the people around you. I overheard one elderly lady telling her friend, "the Huntington doesn't have anything like this." The Huntington has a very large and expensive green house. However, the orchid collection doesn't approach the beauty of the much less expensive green house at the Arboretum. The Arboretum is mostly supported by volunteers with very limited funding. I've always felt that when the endowment for a garden becomes too large, more money and effort is put into structures and social functions than the plants themselves. This is definitely the case at the Huntington.
The orchid images were taken with the intent of posterizing them in post processing. The objective was not only to photograph the orchid but also other elements that might contribute to the overall image. Then, using posterization, break the image down into its basic elements. This was actually a lot of un with some surprising results.
The above image shot with a 70-400 F4.0- F5.6 zoom lens on a 16MP DSLR on carbon fiber tripod.