Orchid's bloom captured on camera

The Neomoorea irrorata orchid in bloom

An amateur photographer in Argyll, Scotland has captured the blooming of the Neomoorea irrorata orchid.

Orchid enthusiast Don Dennis captured the beautiful bloom by photographing it 9,211 times over for 33 days and 30 minutes using a time lapse technique.

The camera was automated to take a photograph every five minutes, but to create the perfect film Mr Dennis had to check the the camera two to three times per day and replace the memory card every 999 shots.

To capture the colour and detail of the the film, Mr Dennis used low-energy fluorescent "studio" bulbs.

Neomoorea irrorata (c) Eric Hunt
  • Orchids are thought to be one of the largest families of flowering plants (Orchidaceae) with over 26,000 species
  • The plants vary enormously from tiny 3-4mm Bulbophyllum minutissimum to 20m long vanillas: lianas that grow high up in rainforest

"Flickering is the bane of time lapse photography - any tiny light change produces a flicker," he told BBC Nature.

Mr Dennis set up the studio with artificial lighting and a black cloth backdrop in one of the spare bedrooms of his bed and breakfast during the low season.

"I'm not a professional time lapse creator, I just have a camera," he said, explaining that he hopes his efforts will encourage other orchid growers to film their collections.

Neomoorea irrorata orchids are native to the mountainous areas of Panama and Colombia and are the only members of their genus, or family group.

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