Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Coreopsis bud

with 8 comments

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Yesterday you saw a broad colony of goldenwave, Coreopsis tinctoria. Now, also from the wet spring of 2010, here’s a very different view of the same species, a close-up of a bud beginning to open. The location was the Mueller Greenway, a prairie restoration that’s part of the redevelopment of Austin’s former airport. The contrasting color is from a pink evening primrose, Oenothera speciosa, out of focus in the background. Note the bits of white pollen from another species (probably one of the nearby pink evening primroses) that are wasted in the places where they ended up.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 27, 2011 at 5:55 AM

8 Responses

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  1. The pink background works really well with that bud. Altogether most arresting.

    Syncopated Eyeball

    July 28, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    • I’m happy that you’re happy to be arrested in that way. I enjoy making, when the plants cooperate and positions are right, nature portraits with such different colors in them simultaneously. Another example with the same colors, but in reversed positions, is that of a Texas thistle I posted early in the month.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 28, 2011 at 7:03 PM

  2. The pink took me aback too! In another world, the bud could be a cupcake.

    Garreth Wilcock

    August 1, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    • A good taking aback, I hope. Don’t know that you’d enjoy biting into this cupcake of a bud — except, as you said, “in another world” — but for me a lot of the flora at the old airport has been food for photographs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 1, 2011 at 3:56 PM

  3. Gorgeous photo. Poetic and beautiful.


    August 8, 2011 at 9:32 AM

  4. Do you see something like this – with the pink as the background and think ‘it has pink and that will contrast it’ or do you just, now, instinctively know it’s going to work? My husband is a better photographer than I am and has an instinct for things, me I have to think my way through. The good (mostly nature, particularly birds) photos I get (not on my blog) are usually lucky accidents.


    June 23, 2017 at 6:10 AM

    • I can’t say it’s instinctive. At some point in my practice of nature photography—I can no longer remember when—I noticed how well an out-of-focus background color complemented the color(s) of a subject. Once I became conscious of that, I kept open that possibility, and now it’s second nature to get different vantage points of a subject to see if a complementary background is at hand. It isn’t always, but often enough that I’m in the habit of looking for it.

      There’s much to be said for lucky accidents, too. Each one of those can set up a new way of looking.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 23, 2017 at 7:29 AM

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