Tuesday, July 12, 2005

New cereus blooms (7-11-05)

At this writing, three of the four buds I recently wrote about have bloomed (the fourth will open this evening). I was greatly looking forward to these blooms so I could try out my new digital camera, an 8 MP Canon Digital Rebel XT. Two flowers opened on the 9th, but my pictures suffered owing to lack of familiarity with the new camera. I fared better with the solo bloom last night (the 11th). Two lessons learned: how to restrict the autofocus to a single point (important for extreme closeups), and the degree of sharpening needed. Compared to my Olympus 4040Z, the Canon pictures are consistently fuzzier out of the box, and need a relatively larger amount of sharpening in Photoshop.

This is my first experience with RAW images, and I really like the additional control over the white balance this format affords. The Canon software includes a tool for selecting the white point, and the image's color shifts about this point. Most of the cereus flower is nearly pure white, but always comes out with a sickly yellow cast owing to the harsh tungsten/halogen lighting I use. I've had reasonable success in the past recovering a true white in Photoshop but I think the Canon RAW Image Task white point tool affords even more precise control. The two plots below show before and after shots.

The Canon-supplied software has two serious flaws: it's as slow as molasses, and Canon ImageBrowser keeps on updating the modification dates of every file in a folder each time I open a folder -- whether I actively modify any of the files or not. Since I never alter originals, I expect their file dates to remain the same -- indicating when I took the shot. That must change.


At 11:36 AM, Anonymous J Tok said...

It is very nice flower, I finally saw my plant bloomed on June 10th this year. It was very amazing and I was very excited to see the flower. It was my first time in my life to see this kind of flower since I have it for many years.

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last evening, Aug. 8 and early morning Aug. 9, 2005 we were blessed with 11 (yes that's eleven) blooms on 2 separate plants. The larger plant had 2 bloom on Aug. 7, but the other 9 bloomed last night. It's daughter plant (much smaller and much younger) had 2 blooms.

What a wonderful night of friends and family but such sadness knowing the beauty and smell would fade so quickly.

God is so good!

Bastrop, TX

At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This morning, August 10, there were 2 flowers and 6 more buds. I'd almost given up on having flower this summer. I've harvested leaves to share with friends and that always seems to produce flowers. The more you share the more you have. My plant is more than 20 years old and last year produced a red fruit for the first time.
Penny Loafer
Austin, Texas

At 10:11 PM, Anonymous auntiebarb2 said...

I finally found the nameof this plant that was given to me several years ago as a single leaf. I have spread it around to members ofmy family and friends. I have yet to see it bloom, but i am waiting. I was not even sure what family it belonged to. Thank God for the computer...... encyclopedia of the world. I will mark your site and enjoy your blooms until mine come. Your photography is phenominal.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Andy said...

I have several of these beautiful plants.. but have not seen any blooms as of yet. Are there any ways to get them to bloom? Such as how to grow them? Full sun or shade or in the house or what? Any suggestions?

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have one of these amazing plants in the desert right behind us.

We live out side of Congress AZ. The plant has 3 big red pods on it. If your interested in a picture let me know

ssrnrcs-webmail@ yahoo.com

Jean 10-22-2005

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a plant which produces several buds that develop up to a point and then drop off... what is going on? Too much water? too little? Too much sun? too little? No fertilizer? what can I do?

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am from Durban South Africa. I have had this cactus creeper growing around a tree in our yard for the last 15 years or so and about a year or so it began to bloom. Flowers lasted a few hours. Although flowers did bloom during the day they manly bloomed at night. Suddenly I got the bug to look for it on the internet. Success I discovered to be of the Cereus family, but not sure which one it is. A bit far from where it appears to at home and one wonders how it ever got here.

Dave Nisbet


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