Succulent flowers

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This weeks image is courtesy of another trip through my archives. I’m frequently guilty of picking one or two images, that I like, from a particular shoot and then forgetting to look at the rest. I made this photograph almost exactly 2 years ago but hadn’t processed it until a couple of days ago.

These tiny yellow, echeveria (sp), flowers are a departure from my normal photographic approach. I made this image at the NorCal Cactus and Succulent show at Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco. While there is a whole room devoted to judging of individual plants, most of the hustle and bustle is in the sale area. Vendors from all over the California set up on tables to sell their prickly wares. It’s a great opportunity for macro photography but it’s not without caveats. With the aisles between tables packed with shoppers, a tripod would be a considerable tripping hazard.

Knowing that I was going to have to work without my camera support I grabbed another piece of gear I seldom use, my [wikipop]MR-14EX[/wikipop] ring flash. Perfect for macro shooting, a ring flash mounts on the front of your lens; in this case my 100 f/2.8 macro. It has flash tubes on each side of the lens allowing for very even illumination of your subject. In addition to helping freeze my own motion, the flash allowed me to isolate the flowers from the very cluttered background. While I shoot almost exclusively with natural light, for this shot the flash saved the day.


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