This cactus blossoms in the early morning before the direct sunlight hits them. This means the photographer must capture them either in the available light, which is subdued, or use a flash. I shot this with merely the soft morning light that was available. Two hours later, when the flowers were bathed in direct sunlight, they had already wilted.
I’m experimenting with my new zoom telephoto lens to take macros. The results are grainier than what I can get with my fast macro lens, because the maximum aperture at 300mm is f/5.6, so I have to bump up the ISO to capture enough light, and the increased ISO results in some noise or “grain,” as film photographers say. Still, I’m happy with the results, at least on this image.