Santa Rita Buds

It’s spring here in the Sonoran Desert, and several cactuses are blooming. This is a Santa Rita cactus at the end of my driveway. The pads turn purple/blue as conditions dry out, but the buds are still a bluish green with chartreuse tips. I like the contrasts.

I’ve been working with my old iPhone (1st gen SE) lately and have been a bit disappointed that I’m less able to do telephoto and macro work. It has just a 29-mm equivalent lens. However, based on a conversation with a friend, I decided to see if Topaz Gigapixel Ai might be able to help . . . and it did. I’ll post the original full-size image below. This is a pretty severe crop, but it still prints great to 12x16. I’m basically composing in just the middle square of the iPhone’s grid and cropping down.

Specific Feedback Requested

I’d like to try and convince people to give their iPhones a try for macro photography. Curious if I’m having any success.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No,
I added some sketch-o-graphy effects to this image as I felt it helped accentuate some of the details.

Here’s the original iPhone capture


Holee Cow! I think I need to sell about $30,000 of very heavy camera equipment.

The composition is fantastic and I LOVE the colors and detail! The final is an amazing transition from the origial. And OK – I have some macro stuff I want to do today, and I’ll try my iPhone. (Along with several thousand dollars worth of conventional gear…)

1 Like

I think the photo is fabulous on all fronts. The composition and colors are lovely, and the technical aspects seem spot on. You’ve convinced me…I’ll give my iphone a try.

The way you’ve brought out the colors truly makes this. The composition and decision to crop this much is great. The contrasting colors are arresting.

Tony, the colors are quite dramatic and your crop and processing sure do show off those buds beautifully. There’s a lot of excellent photography with cell phones. As I see it, the issue is the cropping and it’s effect on how large a photo you can create. For cell phone display (and standard NPN) sizes as well as modest size prints (like 12 x 16) they work very well. I’m driven by maximizing the image quality on the sensor, so I’m not about to change… :smile: I’m also aware that there is very good software for “adding pixels” while maintaining image quality.

Tony: Love the color palette especially and your processing that brought it out. I have an I-Phone 13 that is amazingly competent but I still forget that I have a camera with me at all times when I’m carrying it around. Superbly crafted image. >=))>

I love your color interpretation and crop . Be careful, Sony, Nikon and Canon need to preserve their market share. :slight_smile:

I’ll buy a new iPhone before I buy another DSLR or lens.

Tony, this is a beautiful image. I love the colors and tones that you brought out on this one. The yellows with the purples are just magical. The composition is well thought out and even the depth of filed is pretty good. What a wonderful subject. Well done.