CIGAR ORCHID POND © 2009Big Cypress National Preserve, FL
After walking deep into the swamp for about an hour, I came upon this scene. For nine years, I returned to this area until the plants were full and the light was right for a photograph. To me, this image captures the essence of the swamp, with its many lush layers. Getting the depth of field correct to capture the diversity in this small area was a particular challenge. Rare Flora of the Swamp These vibrant ponds, rarely seen by human eyes, support the greatest diversity of rare and endangered orchids, bromeliads, and arboreal ferns. Here, the waters fill with submerged aquatic plants that line the soft, thick, black, peat soil below. These areas rarely dry up entirely in the dry season and are a sanctuary for moisture-loving plants. The lush resurrection ferns on the tree limbs indicate a recent rainstorm. Cigar Orchid Pond was taken with a Deardorff 5×7 camera on T-Max 100 film. This photograph is hand-printed in Clyde’s darkroom on fiber-based paper, selenium toned, then mounted and matted to current archival standards. The photograph is a limited edition and signed by Clyde. Camera settings f/45 | 72mm Schneider Super-Angulon XL lens | 2 minutes Disclaimer – Cropping, contrast, and image density may vary. To learn more about the darkroom printing process, click here.