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I’ve blipped this orchid before, but not from this angle, and not in such extreme close-up. This shot was taken with the 21mm extension tube on the 50mm lens.

The more you look at them, the more extraordinary these orchids are – the structure is all about pollination of course, but you wonder if they really need to be issuing quite so blatant an invitation! Kathleen Clemons, the tutor of the on line flower photography course I’m currently studying, says that she’s addicted to curves – and this bloom certainly provides plenty of those.

Today’s tutorial was about selection of aperture, and she had done some interesting slides which compared photos of the same flower shot with the same lens at different apertures, and the same flower shot at the same aperture but using different lenses. She recommends exercises like this as a way of getting to know each of your lenses, and also getting to know your own preferences in terms of depth of field. I like the idea and I’m working on it – but once you start factoring in the effects of lens to subject distance and subject to background distance, I suspect it might be more of a long-term project than a quick exercise!

I havered (in the English sense of the word)¬†for a long time over this blip. Although I’m quite pleased with the main image, it’s on the busy side and I wasn’t sure that was the way I wanted to go today. The extra is the simplest shot I took all day – a single emerging Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’¬†bloom against grass – and it might have got the nod except for that one stray vertical petal crossing the centre which annoys me. I suspect that they’ll both look better large against the dark background, and I’ll be interested to hear which you prefer – it’s not outwith the bounds of possibility that by tomorrow I’ll have swapped them!

150820 1 rudbeckia