Barbara Hunley  

Cereus Blooms by Barbara Hunley

May 2022 - Cereus Blooms

About the Image(s)

I have quite a collection of Cereus plants in my backyard during the summer months and they are my passion. Unfortunately, they bloom in the dark of the night so I lose a lot of sleep during the summer months taking pictures in the middle of the night.
This picture was shot last summer with my Nikon D780 mounted on a tripod. Settings were ISO 200, 28-300mm lens at 52m, F20, 1/60. I use a speedlight along with a large round reflector to bounce a subtle light to both sides of the bloom. All of my post processing is done in Photoshop.

5 comments posted

Dick States   Dick States
Hi Barb, welcome to group 06, good to have you join our group.
I like the composition of the two flowers in a slight diagonal. Nice background with this being shot at night with a flash. I feel the lighting is a bit harsh and a bit strong causing the white petals to be somewhat blown out with little detail in the whites. I would also like to see more detail in the pistil and stamens. They seem to be kind of lost. I think your use of the reflector worked well to bounce some light on to the back side of the flowers. I would like to see a shot with just one flower with more detail in the center of the flower.
Again welcome   Posted: 05/01/2022 16:10:54

Charissa Lansing   Charissa Lansing
Hi Barb,
Along with Dick, I'd like to add my welcome to DD06!

To my eye this is a striking, and interesting image. I'm not familiar with this plant, but the twin-like blooms make me think of exotic orchids. Your timing must have been spot on because they appear to be at their peak of beauty. How often do your plants produce blooms and how long does one bloom last?

I also think that the slight diagonal composition works well in this shot, but each bloom seems to compete with the other for my attention. Petal outlines are crisp against the background, but understandably shooting at night is challenging. Perhaps the night blooming flowers would be good subjects for light painting, as that type of technique may help to soften the light?

Again, a big welcome and thanks for this interesting image!
  Posted: 05/09/2022 12:35:10

Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
Hi, Barb,
This is a very pretty portrait of your Cereus Blooms. I am also curious why they only bloom at night? I will need to do some research I guess. I am unfamiliar with that particular flower.
The blossoms are very sharp with good detail to study and I like the shadows that appear on many of the leaves.
My only suggestion might be to frame your capture with a delicate light border as the only hint I observe of the size of the image is the flat area at the bottom of the stem.
I enjoyed studying the image very much.
Janet   Posted: 05/09/2022 14:38:00

Georges Dormoy   Georges Dormoy
Good lighting on these flowers. I do not see any overburn white zones. This is a white flower, and this is nature. The white is really white.
I like the complementary green of the leaves which breaks the voerdominance of the white petals..   Posted: 05/19/2022 15:39:13

James Silliman   James Silliman
I understand your pain, as I have tried to photograph the Night Blooming Cereus myself. This is a stunning capture. The dark background emphasizes the brilliance of the white blooms and the green stem gives the image additional depth. Good work!   Posted: 05/20/2022 22:34:46


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