It was an overcast evening. Tropical cyclone 4A was getting intensified in the coast. I was tired after trying to cajole a rat snake (Ptyas mucosus) to give nice pose to my camera. It was busy hunting and did not give provide any good photos. I did not want to disturb its hunger. Then I saw this Foxglove plant all dried and thorny. Here are 2 photos taken using Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM on my Canon EOS 5D mark II using Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Lumiquest Clone diffuser. For the shot above I used F/11 and 200th of second exposure thus throwing the background dark. This is the same technique where you want the object in focus will brightly lit, highlighted and background will be dark and does not distract the viewer.
For the second shot I wanted the background to show. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Produces a very nice bokeh effect and thus the creamy background will not distract the foreground object. Since the light was low, I used same setup and flash but changed the aperture to F/4 and speed to 40th of second. This setup allows background to show thus resulting in a pleasing result. Fill flash illuminated the object and made it to stand out from the background. F/4 resulted in a very shallow depth of field. So I had to step back to get sufficient parts of the plant in focus.
Digitalis purpurea Common Foxglove, Purple Foxglove or Lady’s Glove, is a flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae (formerly treated in the family Scrophulariaceae). Due to the presence of the cardiac glycoside digitoxin, the leaves, flowers and seeds of this plant are all poisonous to humans and some animals and can be fatal if eaten.
Extracted from the leaves, this same compound, whose clinical use was pioneered as digitalis by William Withering, is used as a medication for heart failure. He recognized that it reduced dropsy, increased urine flow and had a powerful effect on the heart. Unlike the purified pharmacological forms, extracts of this plant didn’t frequently cause intoxication because they induced nausea and vomiting within minutes of ingestion, preventing the patient from consuming more.