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A Trio of Blossoms of the Night-blooming Hedgehog Cactus

Photo of the Month Gallery 2 - June


*In themselves, and as subjects for photography, we love flowers. From the vividly colored flowers of the desert, and the equally vivid alpine flowers, to the shy and subdued flowers of the deep woodlands, we love them all. We especially are fond of those flowers that bloom only at night, and in the morning, close. Such a flower is our June Photo of the Month. As best we have been able to identify this cactus, it is Echinopsis eyriesii, a native of southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. Cactus of the Echinopsis family have long been popular with horticulturists, and at this time, so many hybrids have been developed, intentionally or unintentionally, it is difficult to put a precise name to a particular plant. Often hybrid Echinopsis are cherished, propagated, and given names. One such has been used earlier as a Photo of the Month.

We have been interested to observe that certain techniques and methodologies in flower photography are advocated by some with an almost religious fervor, particularly those regarding the use of 'natural light'. Other techniques that are sometimes strongly advocated are use of a very shallow depth of field. Interesting results can be achieved, true. However, in a world where each film, each filter, and each selection of shutter speed and aperture creates its own unique interpretation of the environment, to assert that any single aspect of photography is 'correct', to us seems peculiar. Tastes differ. Creative use of light, be it by strobe or otherwise, or artistic use of depth of focus, add merely other dimensions. Why any form of arbitrary restriction? We have watched a 'natural light' advocate going to considerable pains with a reflector of gold color, "to warm the scene", certainly a deviation from 'natural light'. Well, to each his own. In any case, for night blooming cactus, use of natural light does not result in a very interesting image, therefore we use strobes. Perhaps we are influenced by underwater photography, where without a strobe, much of the unique color and texture of this environment is lost. Also, increased depth of field ties subjects to their environment, while decreased depth of field separates. It is a conscious selective process. In underwater photography, the desire is generally the former.

Interested in the Echinopsis hybrids? You may enjoy the following link. We certainly did.

Bob Schick's Catalogue of Echinopsis Hybrids

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