Pic of the Week_Wheel Cactus_Central Victoria

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens @ 105mm. Exposure Details: 1/30 second @ f4 ISO 100 Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series USM lens @ 58mm. Exposure Details: 1/20 second @ f10 ISO 400

Cairn Curren is a small settlement about 5 minutes drive from Maldon in Central Victoria. It’s a lovely area, noted for its reservoir and associated sailing club. I made the above image on the road between Maldon and Cairn Curren. The wheel cactus, while fascinating to behold, is a weed that has caused considerable difficulty to farmers in the area. Nevertheless, this small object, measuring only about 200mm in diameter, looked appealing from the road and proved interesting subject matter.

To make the image I moved in close and lay down on the ground. Shooting from a slightly elevated position allowed me to isolate the cactus from its surroundings. The fact that the surface of the cactus exhibits both smoothness and hard, prickly spikes provided an interesting duality. The dark vignette, which I added in image processing, helped to emphasize the near roundness of the cactus and, in so doing, highlighted an important design element. The repetitive nature of the crisscross pattern on the surface of the cactus provided the image with a sense of symmetry.

Adobe Lightroom 2 was employed to render the original image into black-and-white and to provide the strong vignette around the image. The image’s warm tone was applied in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy