In the front yard of my house there grows a large and (I like to think) magnificent purple pricklypear. Every year, late in the spring before the heat of summer descends in earnest, it puts on a lovely display of yellow blossoms. Every year when the flowers come back I tell myself I’ll take some pictures. But it seems I’ve always got something going on, though, and I never do. Before I know it, the flowers vanish and the opportunity is past. This year, however, I finally decided to seize the opportunity.
It was getting to be late afternoon when I pulled into the driveway. As was my custom I admired the flowers and thought for the nth time that I should take some pictures. And then I thought again – I’ve got nothing pressing at the moment, why not now? So I did.
There were a number of blossoms that were in the shade of the cactus and my neighbors tree. The diffused light was perfect. Often I find when flowers such as these are in bright sunlight it’s too much. The colors end up being brilliant but overexposed. I pulled out my macro lens and tripod and went to work. I’ve resigned myself to using a tripod for the majority of my macro shots. The depth of field is shallow enough and I’m unsteady enough that it’s the only way to get a decently composed shot.
The results are what you see here. In the process I discovered a previously unknown positive attribute about this flower. Despite pretty breezy conditions the cactus was steady enough that the flower was pretty much stationary during the entire shot. This made for a much easier time composing each shot. Most flowers are out on long wispy stalks or branches and sway abominably at the slightest hint of a breeze, a real pain when you’re trying to focus on very specific and small details.