View Full Version : Cactus triads

Adrian LeRoy
01-14-2008, 07:33 PM
I took this photo because the interplay of three-sided figures in this cactus and its flower intrigued me. It is displayed without cropping from the original image. Possibly a small amount of tightening from the top and the right could be used. (Advice sought.) I have played with various black-and-white channel transformations and ultimately came back to the color version.

Many cactus flowers are tiny yet detailed. However, this one, from the place it breaks into threes, would barely fit into a soccer ball.

Taken at the Huntington Library (near Pasadena, CA) on Dec 31, 2007, at about 3:00 pm, although I was losing light behind trees on the grounds. Nikon D200, Micro Nikkor 70-180mm @135mm, f/32 (maximizing depth of field seemed much more important than losing sharpness via diffusion), 1/10 sec., ISO 1600. Most noise removed with Noise Ninja in Photoshop CS3. Red and orange modestly raised and clarity slightly increased in Lightroom.

Robert O'Toole
01-14-2008, 11:02 PM
Hi Adrian,

I see what you mean with the 3 spokes x 2, for me instead of tightening with a crop, I think wider or much tighter (on the flowers) would show the pattern better. The 3 cactus shapes on the right scream for more room. Also would have liked to see more cactus spikes too. Hope my comments help.

Thanks for posting.

I think I have some images from this place on my site. There are some great colors when the cactus blossom in winter. Last time I was there unfortunately it hadnt rained in 18 months and it was a swealtering 99 or so.


Mike Moats
01-15-2008, 08:00 AM
Hey Adrian, This subject can be very tough to compose as it has so many distracting lines, shadings and depth. I like your idea of the crop on top but I would do a slight crop on the left side, not much to lose there. On the right you have the group of three stems protruding out that kinda mimic the same design of the three flowers. I have shot this type of plant at a botanical garden run by the university of michigan and I usually do a tight crop to avoid all the distractions going on.

Adrian LeRoy
01-15-2008, 12:29 PM
I appreciate the comments very much. I have fiddled a bit and like best a rotation/crop of 8-9 degrees clockwise which puts the line between the flower and its "echo" in the cactus arms nearly on the diagonal, removes some of the busyiness from the photo, and gets in tight enough on the flower to have it pop somewhat.

Thanks very much, Robert and Mike.