The Cactus Flower

Of late, I’ve been using my camera gear to capture flowers and flora wherever possible, to strengthen my artistic chops and make myself a better photographer.

This is not easy.  You can’t just point a camera at a flower and hope it says cheese.

Case in point.  I recently had an opportunity to photograph a blooming cactus.  Apparently this cactus was potted and growing indoors, and one day it produced a big red bloom.

Okay, let’s get a shot of this.  With the cactus owner’s permission, I brought the plant outdoors and placed the pot on a picnic bench.  Yes, I carried the plant by the pot.  No, I didn’t get cactus needles in my hand, owtchie.  Okay, not many cactus needles…

A few shots of the Nimslo camera …

A trip to McGreevy Pro Lab to develop the film…

Some post-processing and combining of images…

And i got this.

Cactus Flower. Nimslo camera, Kodak 400 film. (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Not bad for an initial try.

Am I going to enter this photo in competition?  Probably not.  It’s kinda blah.  I don’t know how long I’ve had that roll of film, or how many days it’s been sitting in my car … okay, how many weeks it’s been sitting in my car before I used it … but I know I can do better.

And that’s really the most important thing.  Years ago, I would have taken that image and sent it off to competition.  Today, I look at that image and say, “That’s a starting point, now the next time I want a picture of this, I’ll build from this image and make something better.”

That’s the real thing about photography.  You always strive to improve your craft.  It’s okay to test what you’re trying… take notes … and build forward.

Because … if you build forward … the next time you have an opportunity to take a picture like this, it will be more successful than you can ever imagine.

Trust me on this.

I speak from experience. 😀