Victoria Amazonica

This weekend I spent some time in San Francisco with my family. We spent much of the day in Golden Gate Park, including a visit to the Conservatory of Flowers. It is a small living museum of rare tropical plants.

The museum is split into different rooms, each with their own climate. The East most room houses a pond featuring [wikipop]victoria amazonica[/wikipop]. These huge water lilies have brilliant purple flowers and, like much of what lives in the Amazon, pointy “teeth.” These floating leaves of these lilies can reach 3 meters in diameter. The edges of the leaves curl upward creating what looks like large dinner platters floating on the water. Although they are beautiful to look at, the oppressive temperature and humidity in the room reminds you of where they come from. Moisture in and on the camera was becoming a significant concern for me. I wanted to put on my new 15mm fisheye lens but didn’t want to risk changing lenses with the condensation issues that I was already having.

Since I couldn’t change lenses, I shot this with my Canon 24-70 f/2.8L. The exposure was 1/15th of a second at f/11 and ISO 100. To keep the image sharp I used my tiny tripod, mentioned in a previous article, on the edge of the pond. The result was that my lens was very close to the surface the water. I was so close to the water that I accidentally dipped my fingers into the pond while adjusting the focus. I got a chance to use the tripod, as well as the fisheye a few more times throughout the day, but that’ll be another blog post.