Life is fleeting. And there’s no greater reminder of this fact than watching echinopsis cactus flowers bloom and wilt in this extraordinary time-lapse video.
Filmmaker EchinopsisFreak captures the 24-hour lifespan against a austere background to showcase their raw beauty, as well as their demise.
Here is the synopsis from Greg, the man who created the video:
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 visit 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 page 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.