I recently participated in a photography event at the Chicago Botanic Garden. 25 photographers were granted private access to the Orchid Show. This event was coordinated through the Out of Chicago photography community.
Not only did we have 2 1/2 hours of access to the exhibit before it opened to the public, but we were also allowed to use a tripod. The tripod provided me with a number of advantages:
The only downside to this level of access is that it required me to leave my house by 5:30 am to get to the Chicago Botanic Garden on time!
For several of my pictures, I blended exposures using different aperture settings. Quite often, I would capture one image wide open and a second image at a very narrow aperture (f/22). During post processing, I start with the wide open exposure to achieve the soft, blurred backgrounds that could not be achieved with a narrow aperture. However, with the wide open exposure, I usually wasn't able to achieve enough depth of field to render the fine details of the flower in focus. So, I then stack the narrow aperture version of the picture on top of the wide open one--and brush the sharp detail into the frame only where I need it. In my view, this blending approach provides the best of both worlds--an overall soft, abstract photo with enough detail in the areas where more sharpness is desired.
CLICK HERE to view my pictures from the show.
Here are a few of my favorites:
All photographs were captured with my Nikon D850 camera and Nikon 200 f4 Micro lens.