On a rather overcast Sunday I was having my usual weekend visit to Kew Gardens and decided that, due to the cloud cover, it was a good day to use my flash. I have a Yongnuo YN685 flash which I have not had much opportunity to use due to it’s weight and because, being mobility disabled, I take quite a few photographs one-handed if I want to take any photographs above or below a metre.
On this occasion the Prince of Wales conservatory was fairly quiet, so I was not being disturbed by families pushing past.
The Princess of Wales conservatory is one of the newest conservatories and is half above and half below ground. The soil removed from the site was deposited close by, currently featuring The Hive, a semi-temporary sculpture by Wolfgang Buttress. The conservatory is not named for Princess Diana who opened it in 1987, but Princess Augusta who founded the gardens in 1759. She was married to Fredrick, son of George !!, who had an interest in plants, and collected exotics that he kept at Kew. She took over their care and began a Physic and Exotic garden. It was deemed only right that she be recognised in the most complicated conservatory at Kew, with it’s 10 different zones.
Probably the best, and certainly the most popular time to visit, is for the annual Orchid Festival, running for a month, throughout Febru ary and early March. It has been running for 25 years.
The festival usually has a National theme and this year it was Indonesia. It should be noted that many of the exhibits are decorated with popular commercial orchids, bromeliads and other colourful plants.
I used a range of settings on the flash, occasionally using the built-in diffuser for the close-up shots. Some of the flowers are pleasing as they had been sprayed shortly before I visited, creating a different aspect to the photograph.
These are, what I think, my best photographs taken in what was a fairly dark morning, with heavy rain occurring outside on a number of occasions.