Sundews Pemberton, don’t be fooled these plants are carnivorous. Although the image looks straight forward it was made under challenging conditions. The red, sticky “flowers” are, in fact, quite small and delicate. You need to get reasonably close to them and use your camera’s macro lens capability. You also need them to stay perfectly still during the exposure. Any movement from a breeze will blur the image.
I don’t have a macro lens on my field camera. However, unlike most cameras, I do have bellows between the lens and film back of the camera. This allows me to extend the distance between the lens and film back, beyond the range of regular lenses, into a macro focus range. I used a regular 150mm lens which is considered normal focal length for 4×5 format film. The result was that I achieved a small magnification of the sundews sufficient to preserve the plant’s context within its environment. You can achieve a similar effect simply by adding extension tubes between your camera and lens.
Sundews Droseraceae Family
Sundews take their family name from the word Drosera. This family name refers to the plants’ dewdrop like sticky secretions. If you look carefully you will see them covering their leaves.
Most of the coastal regions have ancient soils and as a result, are poor in trace nutrients. Sundews have evolved their own way of dealing with this problem by eating insects. Although they do not have teeth they are carnivorous plants.
Insects searching for food are attracted to the flowers. They become stuck in the delicate but highly sticky honey-like secretions. Unable to move the unfortunate bug is then digested by these secretions. This leads to the release of nutrients the sundew could otherwise not obtain from the soil.
This image was published in my book about the landscape surrounding the Pemberton Wine Region.
Velvia 50 ISO film 6×12 back Wista Field Camera and 150mm lens.