Greenhouse Photo Day

Got a chance to hang out and take photos in the CU Boulder 30th Street Greenhouse today. 

I put a flash just off the frame to the left, shot into the lens for some flare. You have to be careful not to track tobacco mosaic virus into the greenhouse, as well as not getting any pesticides on yourself.

At first I just wandered around taking photos of plants. The majority were elusive or not yet flowering, but with the help of my friend Chris Kemp I managed to nab a few decent shots.

The fogging system proved to be a bit of a challenge to work around, but it did add a nice effect.


35mm / X100 (1/60 / ISO 400 / F4)


35mm / X100 (1/60 / ISO 400 / F5.6)

35mm / X100 (1/60 / ISO 400 / F8)

I used a flash at 1/32nd and 1/16th power pointed down through the grate table from which this plant was hanging, near the top right, along with a reflector by the bottom left. That provided a nice, strong rim light with enough fill to get detail. The background turned out to be pretty good as well, so I did macro shots both with it and without. 

After spending some time on the shoot above, both Chris and I agreed that we wanted to take some portraits in the "Jurassic Park" room, with its aggressively thriving plants. 

35mm / X100 (1/125 / ISO 400 / F2.8)

35mm / X100 (1/125 / ISO 400 / F2.8)

After fooling around a bit, we got Tom (the greenhouses director) to model for us as well.

100mm / Canon 60D / 70-200 F2.8L  (1/125 / ISO 100 / F2.8)

85mm / Canon 60D / 70-200 F2.8L  (1/125 / ISO 100 / F2.8)

I like that peeking flash lens flare. The flash was on a light stand at...1/16th I think? Certainly takes a lot control to get it right though. More practice is needed. The flare on the 70-200 sometimes makes ugly purple splotches. My X100's excellent flare has spoiled me.

The extra lighting: a YN560-II, my convertible reflector and a trigger base. I also used a light stand and a piece of foamcore for some shots.

Chris Kemp /