Photography

Bringing kinja into focus, one frame at a time
Bringing kinja into focus, one frame at a time

The Queen Of The Night

Illustration for article titled The Queen Of The Night

Selenicereus grandiflorus. The night blooming Cereus. These cactus flowers blooms for only one night each year and they are just stunning.

Advertisement

There are a handful of these in my neighborhood, the largest of which blooms on Memorial Day weekend. I missed the boat on that one. But a week later, another one was ready to do it’s thing. I did not miss it. Though I walked by twice while looking for it.

How does one miss a vining cactus with giant flowers that climbs a good 25 feet up a palm tree? Easy. It was dark. The particular spot where this one is has no street light near it. The house closest to it had all it’s lights off. It was pretty dark for a city/neighborhood street.

Advertisement

This also posed a problem of how to shoot them. I had planned on using ambient light and doing a long exposure. I didn’t want to use a flash. That would be too harsh and would make weird shadows.

I ended up using the LED flashlight on my iPhone. I did exposures of mostly two and four seconds during which time I moved the light around to evenly light the flower and eliminate most of the shadows. I worked out really well.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Queen Of The Night
Illustration for article titled The Queen Of The Night
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Queen Of The Night
Illustration for article titled The Queen Of The Night
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Queen Of The Night

I got a little creative with this last one in the editing. I layered two consecutive shots that were lit differently and blended them.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Queen Of The Night

Other that this, I haven’t been shooting too much. Pandemics, the uprising of the people, rain... I hope everyone is staying safe and doing what you can to make the world a better place. I’ll be doing more shooting soon (though we’ll be rained in for a few days). I dug out a Nikonos V underwater 35mm camera that someone gave my wife ages ago when she was a dive instructor. She never used it, so it’s been sitting.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled The Queen Of The Night

Need to make sure it works properly and then I’ll look into replacing all the seals and o-rings so that it can be taken underwater. There is a very old 12-exposure roll of Kodak Gold loaded in to take it for a test drive. We’ll see what happens.

Advertisement

Oh, the bag the camera was in was also loaded with seven rolls of Fuji Super HQ 100 and 200 film. All obviously expired and not stored in optimal conditions. But it’s pretty good film that it apparently getting harder to find.  

Share This Story

Get our newsletter