This is the second part of my adventures at the Punta Gorda History Park in Punta Gorda, Florida. If you didn’t get a chance to see the other post that features some of the critters there check out this link: Punta Gorda History Park – Punta Gorda, Florida – Part 1. In this post, I will be showing some of the flowers that I was able to capture during my visits. This post will be text light and photo heavy for a change.
When I first visited the park, I went in with my trusty Nikon D300 with a 18mm-200mm lens attached. This is a great all around lens that allowed me to get some close ups. However, since I knew I was going to be taking multiple classes there, I wanted to see if I could change things up a bit. Most of what you are about to see was taken with a Nikon 105mm macro lens. This is a nice heavy piece of glass; it’s part of their gold “N” series so it should be really sharp. I started with the camera mounted on a tripod with a shutter release. This worked ok, but some of the flowers were located in a hard to get area so I was on my own, hand holding. These were shot at f/22 with the ISO and shutter speed changing as it was going from a cloudy day to a cloudless day.
I’m not a botanist so I’m horrible at flower names. There is a photographer that owns the business inside the gift shop and her name is Starr. She knows every plant, animal and bird there. If you have a question when you are there, ask her! As always, click on the thumbnail to see the full size version. OK, here we go…
I thought this piece of bamboo was neat. It looks as if it was painted with some green paint. Not to mention that most of the bamboo that I have seen in green, not yellow.
There were quite a few bromeliads stuck in a palm tree, ready for flowering. This is also where the little frog lives that you might have seen in the other post. The top of the flower was lit and the bottom was in shade. To help even out the exposure, I used my flash for fill light. I had to dial the flash power way down or it would have taken over the scene.
To get this close, I used my macro lens. This allowed me to fill the frame with the flowers that were emerging.
I actually love cloudy days. The shadows are so soft and all the detail in a subject is reveled. In the photo above, you can see all the way down inside the plant. On a sunny day, the camera would have never been able to pick this up. I have no idea why, but this photo reminds me of Seymour from the Little Shop of Horrors.
This is actually what got me started thinking about macro from my previous visit. I saw all of these flowers that were turned upside down with water droplets on them. The droplets are like little magnifying lenses that show you details in the veins of the flowers. I have to admit, in full disclosure, I have been known to use a spray bottle to duplicate this effect. Here, however I got lucky, there is a sprinkler head not too far from these flowers and I was able to shoot most of the day before the water evaporated from the watering the night before.
Again, I have no idea what this flower name is. However, with the red, yellow and green colors, it reminded me of a stoplight. Don’t worry; it’s only going to get worse as the post goes on.
It was harsh full sunlight for this one. I really didn’t think it was going to produce anything, but the center is what caught my eye. Kinda looks like yellow spaghetti on a plate. I told you it was going to get worse!
This flower was near a sprinkler as well. As you can see the center of the flower is full of water.
I always love photographing water beads on grass leaves, hey that kind of rhymes. I would have liked to gotten closer, but reaching over and into the bush was a bit challenging.
Whatever this thing is, it doesn’t look friendly. There were a bunch of these planted near the Price House. As I was crouching down to get into position, all I could hope for was not to fall face forward into these!
There was a lone purple flower on this bush. I didn’t want it to feel neglected so I took its portrait. I like how the stems help act as a leading line up to the bloom.
Well there you go, some critters and flowers for your enjoyment. If you live in Southwest Florida and you are going by Punta Gorda, it might be worth stopping and taking a look. On the weekends, the houses are open and there is a farmer’s market as well. They are photography friendly; take any camera, lens and/or tripod you like. Focus on the details and fill the frame. If you are into macro, you will get lost for hours shooting all the different types of flowers that are on the property. I was told that there are over 100 varieties of hibiscus and there is always something in bloom throughout the year.
Until next time…
Keep Your Glass Clean