Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Close view of Texas thistle flowers

with 34 comments

Flowers in the head of a Texas thistle; click to enlarge.

And here’s a close-up of the disk flowers (which are the only type of flowers) in a Texas thistle, Cirsium texanum. I took this photograph in May of 2007 in Great Hills Park, a nature preserve with an entrance just half a mile downhill from my house. This was one of those times when I used flash even in broad daylight; that way I could stop my 100 mm macro lens down as far as it would go, to f/32, in order to keep as many details in focus as possible.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

About these ads

34 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Nice macro. Great texture and color.

    Eden

    July 6, 2011 at 6:38 PM

  2. Lovely macro … I agree – great details and vibrant color! You’re making me look at thistles in a whole new way.

    Shelly

    July 6, 2011 at 9:22 PM

  3. very near to a fractal

    puzzle

    July 7, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    • I’m fond of fractals, used to played with software to generate them. Now I play with wildflowers.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2011 at 6:54 AM

  4. Beautiful detail!

    Lu

    July 7, 2011 at 3:04 AM

  5. How does one distinguish between a Canadian thistle and a Texas thistle?

    Ed Darrell

    July 7, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    • The so-called Canadian thistle, as I learned just a few days ago, is actually an invasive species from Europe. I’ve found a Wikipedia article about it that has a picture and a description, so you can see the difference in appearance between it and the Texas thistle. If you search the Internet for “Canadian thistle” you’ll find plenty more photographs and articles, some of which include techniques for eradicating this alien invasive.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2011 at 7:31 AM

  6. Amazing. The pink/purple/almost white color change, and the texture of each petal is extremely dynamic. This is a wonderful study in detail. Sometimes the simplest things are the most complex at closer look. This gets a big WOW! Thank you.

    Wild_Bill

    July 7, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    • You’re certainly welcome. I like your word dynamic: to me the curved disk flowers do indeed create an impression of movement.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2011 at 2:46 PM

  7. Really like the pattern nature has come up with here :) Good shot.

    Watching Seasons

    July 8, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    • Thanks. I’m fond of patterns in nature. (I’ve noticed, though, that almost all blog posts that have been tagged with “Patterns” have to do with patterns for making clothing.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2011 at 3:20 PM

      • Search for “blossom +fibonacci” or “flower +fibonacci” and see what you get. That may be more productive.

        Ed Darrell

        July 8, 2011 at 4:25 PM

        • When I taught mathematics I often showed my students the Fibonacci numbers. Once I brought in a bunch of pine cones so they could count how many spirals of florets there were in each direction.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 8, 2011 at 4:56 PM

  8. A beautiful photo, but the idea to look at the blossom this way is really intriguing.

    sanetes

    July 8, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    • Yes, I’m often intrigued by what I find when I take a close (and sometimes unconventional) look at things.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2011 at 4:58 PM

  9. Wow, that’s such a beautiful macro! Love the colors!

    Wendy

    July 8, 2011 at 9:49 PM

  10. that is a stunning photo!

    indialeigh

    July 10, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    • Thanks. I think this has gotten the most comments of any picture so far.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      • from where did your appreciation of wildflowers spring?

        indialeigh

        July 10, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      • I moved to Austin in 1976 and did some black and white (infrared!) landscape photographs in those early years. I also couldn’t help but notice the best known wildflowers around here, like bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes, which I occasionally photographed. In 1999 I was working on a photo CD of Austin and wanted to include some scenes of nature to balance all the human elements. It was then that I began to realize how many dozens of species of wildflowers grow here natively; I ended up devoting an entire CD to “The World of Nature.” I’ve kept learning and photographing our native species since then.

        Steve Schwartzman

        July 10, 2011 at 4:12 PM

  11. Steve, how facinating to see your journey to wildflowers unfolded and continues to…flower.

    indialeigh

    July 11, 2011 at 3:03 AM

  12. Absolutely beautiful! I really love the close up views that allow us to see things in a way we never have before.

    Rolling with Husky

    July 23, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    • Thanks. Like you, “I really love the close up views that allow us to see things in a way we never have before.” I end up using my macro lens more than all my others put together.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 23, 2011 at 10:21 PM

  13. [...] at their peak, some already fading and turning brown. The smaller pink daubs in the background are Texas thistles, which had a colony of their own abutting the colony of [...]

  14. [...] at their peak, some already fading and turning brown. The smaller pink daubs in the background are Texas thistles, which had a colony of their own abutting the colony of [...]

  15. Gosh…that is Spectacular, like a firework!

    Thank you for sharing the technique for this. As we’ve chatted and I’ve shared with you before I too like macro shots of plants and I am so excited to try this out. I’m feeling more and more like spring couldn’t come fast enough. (We just got dumped on again in the Midwest, not cool, not cool.)

    eLPy

    January 27, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    • I, too, like the implied motion in this picture.

      Such a tiny aperture is good for extended depth of field, but the price you pay is often a lessening of sharpness due to diffraction through such a small opening.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 28, 2014 at 6:38 AM

      • Hm, that is good to know, thank you. This picture did not seem to suffer at all!

        eLPy

        January 28, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        • You’re right that this one didn’t seem to suffer, but I’ve noticed a falling off of sharpness in some others I’ve taken with tiny apertures. I don’t know what accounts for the difference.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 28, 2014 at 8:15 PM


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 1,615 other followers

%d bloggers like this: