Any idea what this is? Go ahead and guess, I’ll wait.
Personally I think it looks like some kind of alien life form, or perhaps a poisonous plant from a sci-fi movie just waiting to release toxic fumes on our band of unsuspecting heroes. Or maybe it’s the fabled jewel at the end of the rainbow, a yellow bulb of replenishing life force for a famished warrior at the end of an arduous trek across the desert.
Or…it’s entirely possible that this is just a close-up picture of a Black Cotton plant, shot in early Spring with a bright overhead sun. The world may never know. Or maybe the world will know, since that’s exactly what it is :) I was walking through the garden just west of the Atherton hotel on the Oklahoma State University campus when I saw this plant with rich purple leaves accented by tiny yellow flower buds, and thank goodness I had my D750 and 105mm f/2.8 macro lens with me because it ended up being a really cool photo opportunity.
I normally use autofocus for most of my photography, but that was a little tricky here since there were so many little wisps and whirls in the flower bud that my camera didn’t really know what to focus on. I decided to give manual focus a try which seemed a little tricky given the extremely shallow depth of field, but the results ended up looking pretty good. What really does it for me in this picture are the out-of-focus yellow spots on the right side. They add a really nice sense of depth that was missing in some of the other versions of this image that I took from more of a head-on perspective, and help reinforce the otherworldly appearance of this little flower bud.