Once upon a time when digital cameras were not yet invented there was a thing called film. After clicking the shutter button to take pictures, you bring the film to a photo shop to have it developed. You will be asked to choose the type of paper for your photos and usually you will be given two options matte or glossy. Things were more complicated in the past.
Last time I heard, film was already included in Appendix III of CITES (Read: threatened with extinction).
I normally opt for a glossy finish because the colors appear more vibrant and the image more sharp. Matte pictures, although preferred by professional photographers, seem, well, flat and less vibrant.
Most garden bloggers use digital SLR's to photograph their prized plants and garden views. I have always used a point and shoot for my photographs. This may be better than using film cameras but finish notwithstanding the photos may seem flat and less vibrant compared to images created by DSLRs.
The images above show my Tillandsia vernicosa. Vernicosa means varnished or glossy. This describes the shiny appearance of the inflorescence and the lack of hair or trichomes as opposed to Tillandsia didisticha, a closely related species, whose inflorescence appears to be hirsute.
After always reading photography and post-processing tips from Donna of GWGT, Rosie of leavesnbloom, Rob of the Pitcher Plant Project and Cat the Whimsical Gardener, I started wondering how much nicer my plants would look online if they were photographed with a DSLR.
What better way to both satisfy my curiosity and feature a plant that is meant to be glossy than to let it star in its own photography session. I invited some friends with DSLR's over to the house to take pictures of the T. vernicosa. Cases of beer figured into the invitation and must have been what stuck in their minds because only one showed up with a DSLR. Thank you, Ian Flores. To Paul, Clarence and Pals: I hope you enjoyed the beer.
The following photographs are from Ian's camera. You can see larger versions in the Gallery (Click on the gallery image to enlarge). The detail in the inflorescence is great.
The Tillandsia vernicosa is native to Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. It has adapted well in the Philippines as shown by the robust growth of my plant. It likes bright indirect light and moderate watering. I feed it once in every two months (Yes I am lazy) with RFI's Epiphyte's Delight.
Ian making use of what we had in the house to take his wonderful photos.
Can you appreciate how glossy both the photos and subject appear? Just like how a Tillandsia vernicosa should look like.
Donna of GWGT (mentioned above) has a new post out on her other blog. You should check it out and play around, especially those of us with a 5-day weekend. Texturize a Photo Tutorial on GreenApplesGarden.