Arctic Cottongrass

36mm  f/8  1/400sec  ISO200
If you are on vacation to arctic regions you will for sure get in contact with Arctic Cottongrass. I have seen it in Greenland and Iceland so far. The last time during my recent Summer vacation cruise to Greenland. The photos I'm showing today were taken in Sisimiut, Greenland's second largest city. On my walk through the streets I soon noticed the white spots. You often find them in small groups, like the one here, or in large fields. The plant needs a lot of water and is located on wet meadows or at lake shores. The white heads are a beautiful contrast to the green background. They are the seeds of the plants. The wool protects the seed from frost and later on the hairs will carry the seeds around in wind. like a dandelion.

21mm  f/4  1/1000sec  ISO200
I went to one group of Arctic Cotton and started looking for a nice perspective to take photos. The first scenes I captured contained the complete group. I went down to my knees to get a low perspective. The wool heads looked like completely destroyed haircuts by wind and rain. The water drops on that hairy heads are awesome. To point out that impression of a destroyed haircut I changed my position and selected on single flower. The view now looks like the wind coming from right has blown the hair to the left. Additionally some rain has flatten down the hairs. But not only the hair is beautiful to look at. I like the whole scene. That mostly green image contains some red grass straws and that white cotton ball is definitely the eye catcher.

47mm  f/8  1/320sec  ISO200
I took photos of that one plant in different zoom stages, that I changed by moving more or less close to it. There was one shot that was really close. In post processing it on my computer I was curious how it looks like when desaturated. So I turned it into a gray scale image and adjusted color and contrast a bit. I must admit that I love the result. The missing dominating green color makes the cotton ball more interesting. It is no more that sharp contrast. It more becomes part of the overall scene. The close position points out more details. The water drops look like glass pearls in all that hair. This is one balanced photograph that transports mood. I love it.

For taking these photos I used my EOS 600D camera with my EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-4.5 standard zoom kit lens. The camera was set into Av mode with fixed aperture value and calculated shutter speed automatically. I played around with different aperture value to either get various depth of fields or higher shutter speeds. ISO was fixed at 200. For taking those single plant shots I switched my camera into live view mode, folded out the screen and placed the camera low onto my knee.

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