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My Orchid Articles
 
 
   If you expcted to land on a plain black "gallery" page stuffed with orchid photo thumbnails opening up new pages for each and every photo if you wish to see them enlarged and the like then perhaps at first sight you may feel cheated for being presented with a page sporting lots of plain text and so far a single screenshot only.
   Well, read on or if you are in a hurry, then just click here and start sniffing around by clicking on links. Nevertheless, be aware that developing my Orchid Lady and Orchid Nigts as well as the Orchid Nights Agora Forum sites is an ongoing affair.    Therefore, look around, enjoy jour visits -- it may eventually happen that you'll like what you might find...
The Picture Taking Years - Analogue Cameras
1981-1996
   My love for orchids was also transferred to preserving my accomplishments. I wanted a picture of every one I was able to grow and flower. I thought all I had to do was point and click and I would have the perfect picture. I was really wrong in that thinking!

   When I first started capturing my beautiful new orchids on film I used a Kodak Instamatic camera which used 126 film. Of course as the stack of pictures grew I just knew I would then have to have a place to show off my orchid pictures.
   After starting my website in 1996 I created a photo gallery of the orchids I was cultivating. Then the fun began and I woke from a dream of all of my photos in the gallery for the entire world to seeÖWRONG!
   I would take the picture, drive to the store, drop off the film, drive back in a week, and toss most of the pictures to the trash. If I was really lucky I would end up with 2 or 3 out of 12 that would be acceptable. Then I would scan the picture on a flat bed scanner and upload it to my computer. At this point the picture would then be lightened or darkened and as many flaws as I could correct with a photo program.
   Then I would FTP the scanned image to my webmaster and he would send it back with little notes like "Canít you do better?" or "I canít use that it is too blurry." I was lucky when one of the photos did end up in the gallery on my webpage.
   The upload time and programming back in the nineties were really very time consuming, you did not want to waste your time on images that did not represent the flower you were trying to show. For instant a purple orchid always turned out to be blue in the picture.
   Then you had the problem with the old dial up modems that would take forever to upload a file. No wonder so many websites did not have a lot of pictures in the early days of the Internet.
1996-2000
   I was not satisfied with the quality of the pictures I was taking and began to look for a better camera. After much research I purchased the Pentax 1000, 35 mm camera. I added close-up lenses, filters, tripod, lights and all the other gadgets that were needed to produce quality pictures.
   Using colored poster board, cloths and other items for backgrounds I was able to produce some very nice pictures. Now the problem was I could not hold and pose the orchids and take the pictures. I tried with a tripod and a wire that I could trigger the camera but that did not work.
   I took pictures of myself, the ceiling and everything but what I was trying to get. I finally broke down and enlisted the help of my husband. He would take the photo and I would guide him. With this method my rejected images did improve. I started taking more and more pictures to use in my articles that I wrote, for instance "Repotting Hell" and "How to make an Orchid Tree".
   My hubby soon got use to me yelling out the greenhouse door, "Itís in bloom bring the camera."
    I still had to drive to the store, drop off the film, go back and pick up the pictures, but at least my percent that was trashed was better. I was up to 50% being good to usable. I still had to scan them which resulted in a loss of the sharpness and quality of the photograph.
   I would tweak it using the Paint Shop Pro graphic program then it was uploaded finally to the photo gallery on my website. A lot of work had to be completed before even one picture was worth viewing.
2001 - Current
   As the cameras and technology in digital cameras advanced, I also advanced. My first digital love was the Sony Mavica. I really loved this camera and use it even now.
   It uses disk that are easy and cheap to use. The camera took some very nice photos but again as the Internet advanced and the knowledge in photographs and programs to make them look life like, clarity and extreme close up shots were important in capturing the fine detail of the orchids.

   It was time to upgrade my camera to the one I am using today. Recently I am using a Nikon D50 digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera. I use telephoto lens, close-up lens and my favorite "light box". The box is a "Photo Studio In-A-Box" it is compact and portable. I no longer use poster board or cloth for a background since the camera picks up every tiny flaw in the item. Instead I just use the "dark" of night, or a nice natural background.

   My webmaster is quite ingenious when it comes to cutting and pasting the orchid or item wherever he wants as you can see what he has done on my Orchid Nights pages. With ADSL coming along uploading the digital photographs to my webmaster is now so easy and I can have them to him within minutes of taking the picture. He can look at the picture and tell me if it is OK or if I need to shoot a couple more shots.

   My webmaster uses advanced photographic programs to bring the full specter to the photographs so they look like you can reach out and pick the flower. The colors are true to the flower now; whereas in the past purple or lavender would show up as blue. The true color of the flowers was one of the biggest problems in the past. And no more driving to the store to drop off the film, no more trash either.

   After years of work exploiting special features Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language scripting made possible there is no orchids-related page on the Internet that can compare with my Orchid Nights site.
Visit the galleries of my advanced DHTML site!
      The old orchid photo gallery did fulfill its role over a decade. Nevertheless, parallel to my Linda's Orchid pages site development of Orchid Nights, my advanced DHTML site began more than eight years ago. The site currently contains nearly one thousand orchid photos and there is even more in the pipeline.

   Hundreds of comprehensively annotated orchid photos can be seen there in addition to many, richly illustated articles containig interesting and useful information for the beginner as well as for advanced orchid lovers alike.

   At the Orchid Nights site you will be able to read about hard-to-find orchid information of scientific value that you will not find on just any other orchid site.
   There are articles on classics of orchid research and culture, including legends, even horror stories related to orchids. Secrets of their subterranean life, articles on orchidacean mycorrhiza, orchid seed germination and much more can be found in those pages.
   Alas, by time maintainig the Orchid Lady and the Orchid Nights sites by duplicating the contents became so unwieldy task that during modernizing the old site we opted for interconnecting the two sites.
   The vintage orchid photos gallery of the old site is retained here because the Orchid Nights site is a kind of fairy tale maze full of dynamic graphics, hidden Easter eggs and features old browsers cannot cope with. Nevertheless, if you are using Internet Explorer 5 or newer then enable JavaScript, switch to full screen (F 11) and discover the amazing secrets of Orchid Nights.
   If there is a particular species you would like to learn about and to see a picture of it please post your request on my new Orchid Agora bulletin board and I will do my best to find the photograph and the relevant information for you.
   Keep watching out for new paintings and drawings from a very talented young lady friend of mine, Susanna Abonyi. She is an outstanding professional botanical illustrator and will be illustrating some of the pages on Orchid Lady site soon. Visit her new site if you would like to view her work or order special, scientifically exact plant paintings from her.
Acknowledgements
   Since the Orchid Lady site went on-line in January 1996 I received invaluable help and contribution from friends all over the world.
   Their photos are impeccably credited at my Orchid Nights site and hoping that others won't feel neglected for not mentioning all of them when I call your attention to just one example how valuable cooperation of the orchid specialist and enthusiast community can be.
   In closing, I wish to mention again that development of my sites is an ongoing affair -- please don't hesitate, contact me, send your comments, suggestions, questions and join soulmate orchid friends all over the world!
 
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