Lynne Hollingsworth  

Red Cactus Flower by Lynne Hollingsworth

January 2021 - Red Cactus Flower

About the Image(s)

This little cactus flower is about 5mm across. Some cactus fertilizer, and she went crazy blooming this year.

A tripod, macro lens, two extension tubes and a macro rail were used. Lighting was from the morning light from my kitchen windows. I found it challenging to get the very center, maintain the pollen texture, yet not take the image straight down. 9 images were used for focus stacking.

I found the background to be a bit of a challenge also. The cactus spines give the image context, but trying to bring the brightness down was more difficult than usual. Cropping was an option, but I liked the context the spines gave the shot.

Let me know your thoughts - I look forward to your feedback.

3 comments posted

Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Hi Lynne, I like your brave attempt. I don't know enough about focus stacking a super macro to suggest all corrections, therefore I can mainly comment on how I view the image. To me: the petals and the stamen look blurry; there are a lot of distracting highlights; the petals don't seem to have that soft feeling; and I understand your desire for context, the white thorns, which I first thought were daises, keep drawing my eyes from the pollen. The only suggestions I can think of would be: to use a diffuser to further reduce contrast; and before any other processing, apply a noise reduction program.   Posted: 01/12/2021 16:19:08
Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
Well, yes. Not my biggest success here. But one of the reasons I chose this image was to get feedback as to how to improve for next time. In order to redeem myself, I encourage you to go to group 32, where my image is a white rose. More success with the rose is evident.
You inspired me to try different techniques to increase this shot, even if just a little...   Posted: 01/12/2021 20:17:16
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Peter Newman   Peter Newman
Lynn, As I understand things, the purpose of DDG is to learn. There is no need to "redeem." BTW I prefer the rose you originally posted, for the same reasons stated by Tom & Larry. That said, to my eyes, your second version here is an improvement. I used Topaz Gigapixel AI to increase the pixel count and avoid banding: I then reduced the contrast a little to bring out more details in the yellow, and made a minor adjustment in levels.
Let us knw what you think.

  Posted: 01/14/2021 16:02:04
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