“Je vous ai apporté des bonbons
Parce que les fleurs c'est périssable
Puis les bonbons c'est tellement bon
Bien que les fleurs soient plus présentables
. . . “


“I brought you candies
Because flowers are perishable
And candies are so good
Even if flowers are more presentable
. . .”

Jacques Brel in 1964 thought more about the feelings of St Valentine (with a twist) and less about the eye. I will propose more for the eye than for the stomach…

The Assiniboine Park Conservatory just finished an exhibit of tropical flowers and plants. This was an occasion not to miss.

I have to admit that I am not worth a penny as to knowledge in flowers and plants. I’m able to recognize the banana plant, when the bananas are still on it, but that is mostly the extent of it. On the other hand, I learn. Orchids can have lots of strange forms; the stranger the forms of the flowers, the more chance I have that they are orchids.


In the wild you would find them here and there in the tropics. In the Assiniboine Park Conservatory they are all together for us to enjoy.


Inside, the temperature is kept high enough to leave your jacket or winter coat on a bench. I simply walked around in shirt sleeves. Wonderful temperature!


As you can see in different pictures, this exhibition is a “setup”. Here and there the plants have “help” from some metal, just to keep them in place. Winking smile


The Conservatory houses more than 8000 flowers and plants non native to Manitoba, but they grow wonderfully in the Palm House and Display Garden. The Display Garden is where the orchids in this post are on exhibit.


Taking pictures of these wonderful flowers is a bit trickier than I thought in the beginning. After all, flowers are flowers, they don’t move, so it’s easy to take their picture. Even more, they don’t need a model agreement so I can use the pictures whenever and wherever I want.


Apart from the inexistent paperwork, these orchids present a few different problems. All of them have such vibrant colors and contrast that even with the covered sky, blown out highlights were frequent.

In some cases I even stopped using the available light and used my SB600 to light the flowers. At least I had some control over it. I guess this kind of pictures needs the full manual setting on the camera.


Usually, I pump up the Vibrancy slider a bit in Lightroom to give a little extra punch to the colors, here I had to push it down as to keep the colours in check. Mostly all colours were out of reach of my monitor. In other words the gamut was too large.

Can you find the spider?

Pictures in this post have no legend, simply because they are all flowers and of none of them I can even imagine the real name. Better to stay quiet about this. Angel


All pictures have been shot using a tripod. This was the first time in the Conservatory with my tripod, a Manfrotto 7302. It’s amazing how a ball head makes positioning your camera easy.


Also, the tripod made it easy to keep the camera perfectly still, many of the pictures have shutter speeds of longer than a second. The absence of wind here is definitely a plus.


So here we are, at the point of shooting inside to get some much needed colours in life. Well, I can think of worse places to be than the Assiniboine Park Conservatory. They allow for photographers, as long as you are not a professional and are not shooting groups. The equipment you use is up to you.

Welcome to the Assiniboine Park Conservatory.

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8 days 12 hours

Thanks :) !

8 days 15 hours

---Very nice Blog Henk - some nice shots there...-:)

13 days 9 hours

Presets can speed up your workflow a lot, provided you have plenty of the same type of pictures. People doing weddings will a ...

13 days 9 hours

Hi, I hadn't noticed that the typing colour was that dark... changed it to pure white, that should do it ... Henk

13 days 11 hours

I certainly agree the use of presets will discourage people learning their own methods but they can offer a shortcut to fulfi ...

1 month 3 days

Well, I was told so by a "pro" that later recanted... :-) I removed the name, so at least it is now correct.

josie brendle
1 month 4 days

nice blog but sorry the horses are not Clydesdales. Those are a little bigger. :)

1 month 5 days

Test comment here

Henk Von Pickartz
1 month 5 days

This is a comment. I will see if this works or if this will be taken over by spammers. If so, then I will take it down again.