|Hedgehog Cactus, 11 Frame Focus-Stack|
|Hedgehog Cactus, 8 Frame Focus-Stack|
variety of Hedgehog cacti with their brilliant red and scarlet blooms. Don't forget that the focus-stacking technique I'm working on here are specifically for showing the finest details in close-ups, so most of these might be a more narrow shot. There are a few single-exposure wide shots, but if you want to see more of the plants themselves, go to the Google, or better yet, go to B&B! Every variety of cacti are different, but the Hedgehog's have the recognizable red-orange flower with the bright green stigma
|Robust Hedgehog, 21 Frame Focus-Stack|
The focus-stacking technique again, utilizes multiple images shot at different focus settings to extend the zone of sharpness of the image. For instance with this image, when the close edge of the flower was in focus, the rest was necessarily out of focus. There are some minor artifacts, seen just over the near edge of the flower petals, and right around the stigma where the out-of-focus edges in the original image shadowed the details beyond. Photoshop does a good job of putting them together, but it isn't quite perfect... Still, an amazing technique. I'm wondering if the software dedicated to focus-stacking (Zerene, Helicon Focus) would be any better?
|Mammillaria rubragrandis, 14 Frame Stack|
|Mammillaria muehlenphfordtii, 14 Frame Stack|
|Mammillaria rubrograndsis, 17 Frame Stack|
left are some tiny flowers, less than 5-6mm in diameter on a Mammilaria muehlenpfordtii - such a big mouthful for a small cactus! Make sure you click to download the full-size frame to see the details in spines and hairs of the cactus.
Another family member is at right, this time a Mammillaria rubrograndsis. Again, the range in color tints is very striking!
And some colors were more unexpected than others... I know there are some cholla cacti that are about the only plants with green flowers. Too early for them this time of year, but spotted these with brown/tan colors with bright pink stigma. At right is a single wide shot of another plant showing the dark brown flowers.
|Golden Barrel, 5 Frame Stack|
|Mount Lemmon Anaglyph - Red/Blue Glasses needed!|
Oh, and if you thought you could get by without a 3D image, you would be wrong! I was so focused (excuse the pun!) on the focus stacking, I didn't take any 3D of cacti, but as I was headed out, realized as I drove back that there might be a nice one of the Catalina Mountains to the north. We were far enough away to clearly separate the front range from Mount Lemmon itself, so took a few pairs, figuring a couple hundred yards will do it - so grab your red/blue glasses and check out the image at right.