I enjoy seeing nature closeup and when I saw these on my *****-willow tree I knew they would make an interesting subject. I stopped the lens down as far as it would go for maximum depth of field and used a remote shutter release to avoid vibrations. Post processing included increasing exposure, vibrance, and clarity. Would probably be a good candidate for focus stacking.
Sony a77II, Tamron 16 - 300mm F3.5 - 6.3 Di II PZD at 300mm, 3 extension tubes, ISO 800, f/40, 1 sec, tripod mounted, 2 85W daylight-balanced lamps set at 45 degree angles.
All comments and suggestions are welcome, particulary regards to technique, and thanks for viewing.

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Jim, I also enjoy nature closeup. Seems like it is another world in itself. I never saw anything like this on a willow tree before. I can see why you considered it an interesting subject. You have nice lines and shapes, which to me, certainly helps make a nice image. The lighting is nice, so your lamps paid off. For me, I would like to see more of the top portion, as it seemed to have a deeper red color in it, but those are cut off. That could be just my taste though.

Jim: Tough to figure where to crop a subject like this but I think you did well and especially with the complicated rig you were using. A tip o’ the :billed_cap: to you sir. >=))>

Jim, this looks perfect without stacking. You’ve got excellent details along the “spine” of the catkin flowing well from the lower right to the upper left. Your lighting does a great job of showing the green along the base, which complements the yellow of the stamen well.

I agree with Shirley that there is some interesting color at the very top. Perhaps just a fraction of an inch more of the catkin would give a pop of color. Your subject is fascinating and the curvy lines move the eye throughout the image. Lighting and color are very well done.

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