This is another Prickly Pear flower taken during my trip to Big Bend earlier this year. I captured this photograph while hiking the Contrabando Trail at the Big Bend Ranch State Park, the same trail where I captured the Strawberry Hedgehog flower photo that I posted earlier this week. I am always fascinated by flowering cacti. These resilient plants have adapted to some of the most difficult conditions on the planet, and yet, they produce such spectacular flowers. I am always amazed by their beauty, so much so, that they have become one of my favorite flowers to photograph.
Cacti have periods of growth, periods of blossom, and periods of resting. During growth, they prefer direct sunlight, high temperatures, and humidity. Direct sunlight will induce rapid growth and the development of longer and brighter spines. Cacti will enter a resting period when cooler temperatures prevail and humidity levels drop.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III using my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/7.1, shutter speed at 1/800th of a second, and the ISO set at 160. I did not use a flash to light the subject. I used Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro to process the image.
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