Thanksgiving Cactus Photos

February 24th, 2010 by Matt

Thanksgiving Cactus Photo

Thanksgiving Cactus

I took this series on the beautiful Thanksgiving Cactus back in 2005. What a magical little plant!

Ah, nature. Photographers are forever travelling to remote regions to capture exotic, beautiful images…think National Geographic photos from Africa or Asia…or exotic travelogue photos from some South Pacific island paradise… But how often do we ignore the beauty that is right on our doorstep, in our backyards, or even, gasp…in our house! This magical little cactus, our houseplant(!), called, wonderfully, the “Thanksgiving Cactus,” just started blooming, and what a reminder that nature and her beauty are everywhere! And true to nature, this little plant is blooming on her time, in January!

I had to see if I could capture the grace, color, and beauty that our little friend radiated. I spent a couple of hours yesterday coming up with these images. These are the images that I’ve chosen for “the finals,” from which I’ll choose three to four, max.

In a recent post, I mentioned the new 12.8 megapixel Canon EOS 5D. Well, I bought one last month or so, and have been gradually learning the camera’s features and developing new techniques to get the best photos out of the camera. I am thrilled with this camera’s performance! The ability to see my results as I shoot has really expanded my creativity in unexpected ways. I no longer have to guess about exposure. I try it and adjust on the fly! I no longer have to balance film and developing costs with trying many different composition/exposure combinations. Shooting now is virtually free! I can shoot until the memory cards are filled, download them to the computer, and edit to my heart’s content. What an amazing improvement in productivity, speed, and cost! And the sharpness, clarity, and color of the photos are amazing!

I waited a long time to get into digital, mainly due to wanting to be able to enlarge photos up to 24 x 36 inches, and not wanting to lose the “wide angleness” of my wide angle lenses. (This Canon has a full–size sensor, so there is no “multiplier” effect on lenses. In most other digital SLRs, a 17–35mm lens, for example, ends up being a pedestrian 28–55mm lens. That is not what I want, since I do much of my shooting with wide angle lenses!) And with 12.8 megapixels, huge enlargements are possible. It is absolutely a win–win situation!

Anyway, take a look at this little natural wonder. What composition do you think is best?

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