This image is one of my favorites of all time. It’s very precious for me, it’s like something to put in a treasure trove and take it out only for very special occasions. But since I decided not to be so shy and cautious about things living in the internet anymore, and since it’s the beginning of a new year with many new resolutions, I’m about to present it to a bigger audience. The image you see has never been edited, it’s straight out of camera.
1/50, f/5.4, ISO 3200, 73 mm, Lumix DMC-GX8
Palmenhaus has been shot in May 2017 during a stay in Vienna. The Palmenhaus in Vienna is part of the Schönbrunn Palace Park and consists of three connected greenhouses housing different climate zones. In the northern part there’s a coldhouse while the southern part is serving as a hothouse. The giant pavilion in the middle is only moderately tempered. I was walking through the different parts of the building, shooting all the different flowers and the beautiful Art Deco iron framework. The building feels very light and elegant. The iron framework almost looks like big trees growing up from the ground with their branches holding up the glassy ceiling. The big palm and olive trees are mixing so beautifully with the white iron construction that it really looks like they were growing up together.
For a camera with a lot of different lenses in a only halfhearted sealing such different temperature zones, together with a lot humidity in the air, can be pretty difficult. My lenses were constantly fogging. When looking through my camera I was presented with a steamy version of the greenhouse all the time. But instead of complaining I quite liked the fading effect the fogging had on my images. My images became milky, steamy, dreamlike, out of this world. I was thrilled. The steam was matching up with the ancient environment of the greenhouse so well.
The second effect of the image, the distrotion, the wavelike warp, is something I can’t really remember how it happend. Maybe I was shooting through an old piece of glass, maybe there was a shiny piece of metal that was reflecting the lush greenery, I don’t know anymore. But what happened is truly marvellous. It’s like an image right from the jungle, right from the rainforest. It feels like the flowers made it to the real world right from a fairy tale, like in a time warp connecting past and present. It’s a piece of paradise, as real as an image can be.