Bee Orchids in Sheepcote Valley, Brighton

I saw Bee Orchids for the first time last week, on a walk in the rain, around Sheepcote valley. There weren’t many of them, about 36 flowering stems in about an acre of grassland and only one of those stood proud of other vegetation, so that was the one I photographed.


Canon 5D Mark II, 300mm f4 L IS lens, 1/320 @ f6.3, ISO 640

As you can see, it was past it’s best, with some browning on the leaves and flowers but I was so pleased to find any at all, that I shot it anyway. Now I know where to go, I’ll go back next year and hopefully do better. You need a lot of patience for nature photography.

I used a 300mm lens with a 1×4 extender resting on a beanbag on the ground and used mirror lock-up with a remote shutter release. It was quite windy, so I used a Wimberley Plamp (concealed from view) to grasp the flower stem, reducing movement as much as possible. I also used a fast shutter speed, aiming to achieve maximum sharpness.

I got very wet and I’d concealed the Plamp so well, I forgot to take it with me when I left. Ah well…

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