During a recent trip to New Zealand I had the opportunity to create some images at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in Rotorua. This also gave me the chance to view an abundance of trentepohlia beauty in the forest.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
The bright orange colour you see in the images in this article is caused by trentepohlia – a member of the algae family.
It grows on tree trunks and limbs, as well as on rocks, walls, on leaf surfaces, and symbiotically with lichen.
Trentepohlia is found on most continents. It gets its bright orange colour from the presence of haematochrome which hides the green pigment of the algae.
Trentepohlia primarily grows in tropical and sub-tropical climates where damp conditions exist. There are some variations that grow in cooler climates as well.
I find that its unique colour can add flashes of interest to an image, and even some hints of its orange hue can give a a stark photograph a unique twist.
I also love creating compositions that include pops of bright green to act as a complementary colour.
The next time you are in a damp forest environment look for trentepohlia and let your creativity loose with this unique forest colouration.
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