Night-blooming cactus photos.

These are photos of the 2001 season.
Just in! Photos of the spectacular 2002 blooming!

Here are some photos of a night-blooming cactus. The last time this cactus bloomed for me was about ten years ago, so I was pretty excited when the flower buds began to appear. Please bear with me as I hone my night photography skills....
Too close. Flash too bright.
I've included some of these less-than perfect photos because I still find them kinda interesting. (And, let's face it, they're all less-than perfect!
It's amazing how different the colors turned out. I guess the flash can tint everything blue. But I don't know why it didn't do it in the previous two.
Ahhhhh, I've almost got it now.... I think I took this one by flashlight with the camera's "night" setting enabled. I would've had better luck with a standard 35 mm camera using a long exposure, but this was a digital camera with limited setting options.
Ahhhhhhh! That's more like it. After a lot of experimentation (you should see the ones that didn't make it onto this page), I discovered that the best way was to photograph with a flash from a distance, after focusing by flashlight.
The next day. This is a fresh bud, just about to open up.
The bud again. It was kinda "hairy", and that white around it is the hairs shimmering in the sunlight.
Yet another view of the bud.
One of last night's flowers. It already lost a lot of its splendor, so you can see why I wanted to be sure and see it that first night.
The new bud opens up and is revealed by flashlight.
And another too-close flash photo.
Another one taken from a distance, focused by flashlight, and shot with flash.
I eventually more or less got the hang of photographing 'em by flashlight!
Dum de dum....
I never did manage to get one which completely satisfactorily displayed the flower's beautiful reproductive organs, but this one comes close.
And, finally, one more overexposed flash picture.

Well, that concludes our feature presentation. Look for further updates when it blooms again in five or ten years. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Update! We didn't have to wait! See photos of the spectacular 2002 blooming!

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