Orchid World is the only place that looks like a real place to see. Meaning that it has substance. This place is actually quite large, and is a place that I would have went to on a normal vacation. So far all the other places are hyped, but are really not much of anything. This is the only place so far that has any kind of quality to it.
Unfortunately, we only had 45 minutes here as well. Again I was shocked, as this was the other place that I really wanted to see. But you have what you have.
I couldn't practice on anything at home like I did with the butterflies. I have no frame of reference for composition, color, amount of light etc. The place is huge. You follow along a path of round stones. This is not good for people in a wheelchair by the way. Every 4-6 feet there was an orchid of some type. A lot look the same. Most are outside, so they flop around in the wind. Today we had a partly cloudy day. The rain stopped and there were some wet flowers. The sun was in and out. I used a fill flash for everything, and I think it worked out very well. The sun was very intense when it was out. I preferred the clouds over the sun. While the sun looked nice on some, it was hard to control. The clouds hid just enough light to let the flash work.
Not all of it was outside. There was a shaded area. This was both good and bad. While the black netting provided shade for me and the flowers, it provided a terrible background. There was also a green house section, but by this time, I ran out of time. I was running from flower to flower just clicking at them. Figuring, that though I won't have a composed shot, I can still cut it out for a future project. I took over 200 pictures in 45min. A new record for me.
I recommend a close up lens, as a lot of these flowers are only an inch or so across. The largest flower shaped one was about 3". Use a fill flash and keep the light as spread out as possible. If possible put a black background behind the flower, or find a good background. Try to come here on your own if possible.
If you have more time here, take pictures of the signs of the names of the orchids. I never had the time. So instead of sounding smart, and calling it by it's real name. All the names are more like purple bunch. And that just sounds lame.
We had a free drink here as well. I think I had an orange drink. There were some odd choices there. They have a nice gift shop, but are very expensive. They said if you use American currency, you can get a special gift. I don't know what that was though.
These are all the one's I consider a lot better. If I had more time they would look better then this. As I was learning while I was there.