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Orchids and Artwork

If you love to photograph flowers, there is nothing prettier than an orchid. Join us for a photo shoot at the National Portrait Gallery.

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The Orchids are back at the National Portrait Gallery! If you love to photograph flowers, there is nothing prettier than an orchid!

Orchids are amazing – their ability to adapt to different habitats has made them one of the most diverse plant families on earth, with more than 28,000 species worldwide!

Here is an opportunity to photograph an extraordinary collection of orchids entitled

“The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration”. The exhibition highlights the numerous challenges facing wild orchids today and offers a glimpse into the work by scientists and conservationists to protect the future of orchids.

“The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration” features 200 hundred varieties of orchids displayed in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard. The exhibition, organized by Smithsonian Gardens in collaboration with the United States Botanic Garden, includes living collections from both organizations as well as a series of newly commissioned and loaned paintings and sculptures by contemporary multimedia artist Phaan Howng. Howng’s series The Orchids’ Fungi Garden Paradise and Mountains helps audiences visualize the future of orchids and be inspired to take action toward a sustainable future.

Instructor Sherryl Belinsky will be there to guide you in the best techniques of macro/close-up flower photography without tripods, giving tips on composition, white balance, exposure, and the blurring of backgrounds (known as Bokeh).

After photographing the orchids, we will make our way into the spectacular art galleries and exhibits this museum has to offer. Renovated and reopened in 2006, the National Portrait Gallery/ American Museum of Art is a photographer’s delight, and most of the exhibits are open to photography.

Properly done, your images of world-famous paintings and Presidential portraits will be so good that they can be enlarged, matted, printed on canvas, framed, and hung in your home to look as good as the original signed artwork! If you would like to decorate your home with art from the great masters, this safari will teach you how to do that at a MUCH lower cost than bidding at a Sotheby’s auction! And, the architecture on the third floor of the National Portrait Gallery is stunning!

For best results we suggest digital cameras with adjustable shutter speeds, manual settings and ISO ratings of 1600 or 3200, or late-model smartphones. Digital camera users should be familiar with setting Tungsten/Incandescent White Balance, and high-end DSLR users will learn how to navigate the Kelvin color temperature scale for the most accurate color. Zoom lenses in the 24-70mm range are good for this safari, but if you want to get really close (as in fill the screen), a longer lens will help. Of course, macro lenses are even better!

No tripods or backpacks allowed.