Freaky Flowers: Echinopsis Cacti in Bloom

Freaky Flowers: Echinopsis Cacti in Bloom from EchinopsisFreak on Vimeo.

A montage of a dozen types of Echinopsis cactus flowers blooming. And wilting. And just generally showing off their mind-blowing colors. My favorite cactus flowerings from the 2014 blooming season.

Echinopsis cactus flowers bloom overnight and the flowers last for only a day. Actually, the flowers are at their peak beauty for an hour or two at the most. That's what turned me from a cactus enthusiast into a cactus photographer … the desire to try to preserve some aspect of their freaky beauty. Prior to becoming an Echinopsis addict a few years back, I had never owned a DSLR or image/video editing software.

The cacti shown in this video come from my collection. The evening when it looks like a plant's flowers are about to bloom, I bring it indoors to image. Most of the clips in this montage show approximately 8 hours of change as the flowers open and bloom. A little more than halfway through the montage, there's a series of three clips showing different views of a 24-hour period in the life of a yellow-flowered 'Daydream' plant. Six flowers that opened the night before I started filming wilt to nothingness and another 4 flowers grow dramatically and then open. This series of 'Daydream' clips is followed by another three showing other types of flowers wilting. These additional wilting clips are also taken over a daylong period.

The question I'm asked most often about my cactus flower still images and timelapses is whether I've "Photoshopped" them, that is, have I used editing software to juice things up and create the flowers' intense colors. I do, of course, use Photoshop and Lightroom and other editing software. But not in the way most suspect. Rather than using these tools to overstate reality, I actually use them to reduce the intensity of the colors my camera captures. I have reduced the color saturation in every timelapse clip in this video by a minimum of 10% and some ('Yes', 'Cabaret' and 'Antimatter') by 30% or more in order to have something that wasn't just completely blown out.

I hope you enjoy "Freaky Flowers" and invite you to contact me via my Vimeo account and/or visit http://www.echinopsisfreak.com where you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know about these cacti and also be able to reach me via a contact form should you wish.

The 2015 blooming season is just about to start now that April approaches and I hope to be posting new timelapses soon here at Vimeo.

Best! Greg

Video: Greg Krehel. Sound: "Chin Swee Sunset" with the permission of the artists O$P$ (Owe Money Pay Money) … SoSolid Records

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