Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Beyond sleek

with 23 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Last month, in a post entitled Sleek, you saw the relatively straight and distinctly shiny strands that female Clematis drummondii flowers produce after they’re fertilized. Now, in a photograph that I took in my neighborhood on July 18, you get to see the tangled mass that those strands, still somewhat lustrous, turn into. The red area at the center of the picture is a seed core, with each strand attached to one seed.

The width of this photograph represents about an inch and a quarter (3.2 cm). Because I had to get in so close, and because the strands were at varying distances from the front of my macro lens, I stopped down to the minimum aperture of f/32 for the greatest possible depth of field. To compensate for the loss of light at such a small aperture, I turned on the camera’s flash. The dark navy blue visible between strands was actually clear sky.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

About these ads

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 5, 2012 at 6:05 AM

23 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. As usual your work is amazing and inspirational.

    Michelle Armour

    August 5, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    • I appreciate that, Michelle. There’s a lot to be inspired by in nature. Clematis drummondii happens to be one of my favorite native plants to photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2012 at 6:15 AM

  2. That is beautiful.

    Cathy

    August 5, 2012 at 7:29 AM

  3. Beautiful photograph. I am still at the digital fixed lens stage and I really appreciated your posts on your equipment and technique.

    afrenchgarden

    August 5, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    • Glad to be of help. Even a fixed-lens camera—especially nowadays—can still do a lot. Happy picture taking to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2012 at 8:46 AM

  4. Here, it looks amazingly like fireworks. Or, more likely, certain types of fireworks look like clematis drummondii After all, we speak of fireworks “blossoming” into the night sky. This shows how apt the comparison is.

    shoreacres

    August 5, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    • Thanks for a new analogy. Until you said it, I would never have thought about fireworks “blossoming” into the night sky.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2012 at 9:47 AM

  5. It’s amazing the similarities found throughout Nature… This image reminds me of human hair strands!

    FeyGirl

    August 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    • Now, in contrast to fireworks, I definitely conjured up visions of human hair strands. By the way, the most common colloquial name for this species is old man’s beard. You’re certainly right about the similarities found in diverse parts of nature.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      • Ah! Old man’s beard… So they obviously thought the same, heh. I do love seeing such similarities.

        FeyGirl

        August 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM

  6. They don’t show you this stage in the seed catalogs you get … Thanks for something I never would have expected.

    Merrill Gonzales

    August 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    • You have to be within inches to see this “interior” view. My guess is that few producers of seed catalogs—or plant growers—get that close and therefore don’t think to include a picture like this. For me, this is the most interesting and picturesque phase.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2012 at 2:31 PM

  7. Cool shot!

    TBM

    August 6, 2012 at 1:48 AM

  8. […] last photograph was a close view of a Clematis drummondii seed core, with each seed attached to a feathery strand. At the same July 18th session that produced that […]

  9. […] last photograph was a close view of a Clematis drummondii seed core, with each seed attached to a feathery strand. At the same July 18th session that produced that […]

  10. As tangled as a medusa’s head…. It’s really helpful reading your technical tips. I’ve been experimenting using your advice.

    Nature on the Edge

    August 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    • A medusa’s head is a good analogy. Biologists use the word medusa for a jellyfish or a phase in the life of one, but you’re the first person I know who’s applied the term to Clematis drummondii.

      I’m glad some of my photo techniques have proved helpful.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2012 at 4:39 PM

  11. What a very cool shot!

    Roberta

    August 6, 2012 at 10:25 PM

  12. […] beard, so the overall effect is less impressive. On the other hand, as intricate and swirly as a display of Clematis drummondii can be, it pales, literally, in comparison to the rich color of the scarlet […]

  13. […] the same street at whose corner I took the pictures of Clematis drummondii that appeared three and four posts back. Also coincidentally, last week the NASA vehicle called Explorer landed in a crater on […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,118 other followers

%d bloggers like this: