Lots of needles Updated

Updated Photo

I was at Josuha Tree National Park driving through and wanted to stop at the Cholla Cactus Garden. There are ton of these that just grow wild there.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I left the background soft. Feedback?

Technical Details

R6m2 24-240mm at 24mm f/4 1/4000 iso 100. There was wind so the faster shutter. I did focus stack 15 photos with Zerene DMAP. I just realized I used the wrong lens, I was going to use the 24-70 f/2.8. I was just wondering how focus stack would work here at 24mm

That sure is a prickly scene, Dean. :slightly_smiling_face:

I like the placing of the cactus in the left side of the frame, however I think the softness on the right side pulls my eye away. I downloaded this and cropped from the right about a quarter of the image, leaving an almost square crop. This helped me stay focused on the cactus. That might be a bit too extreme for you as it does reduce the amount of canvas devoted to the environment. I also raised the brightness a bit as it seemed a bit dark.

Anyway, this is a wonderful specimen and you’ve captured it quite well.


Thank you for the feedback, David. I took your suggestion and cropped from the right but also keep the 2:3 ratio. I did also brighten and slightly warm the photo image. I did want to keep some of the environment around. It is an unusual site with so many of these plants in a large area. I think some of the darkening that was there was from not using a larger opening lens, but I am not sure. The 24-70 is a 82mm lens compared to the 72. Shooting raw helps fix these issues.

Dean, for one who lives on the east coast and doesn’t get to see cactus growing wild, this is a treat. I like your repost as it seems brighter and less of the environment included. I am struggling with this as a macro though. I’m wondering if it would better fit in the Flora? Just a thought. I like those clouds in the sky and the low angle in which you shot this.

I wasn’t sure about this category because it really isn’t a closeup. But I thought flora was just flowers and not plants.

Flora is plants and flowers. I just checked FAQ to make sure.

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Not sure about if it belongs in close-ups or flora, Dean, but I like your repost a lot. The brightness and the closer view appeal to me. Gives me a more up-close and personal perspective. I still feel there is enough of the surrounding environment to understand where the photo was taken. Nicely done.

I also like the crop version. That’s a beautiful cactus with lots of blooms. I think the soft background is nice. It gives the big cactus more attention. I also think a slight vignette would work well here. Off set the vignette so the center spot is over the center of the large cactus. That will help reduce the attention on the edges of the cactus. Very nicely seen.

Flora is anything that grows! Cactuses, trees, mushrooms, lichen - it all counts! I just looked at the category description and gave it an update.

I like the repost for the opened shadows and the stronger emphasis on the closest cactus.

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Thanks, Kris. I am focusing more on flora lately

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Dean, the brighter version is a very good improvement. This does look way to “big” to be macro. My definition of macro/close-up is to have the long axis of the photo cover about a foot or less.

I can move it to flora if you like, no worries.

Thanks that would be great