Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Epitome of red

with 7 comments

Opening bud of turk's cap, Malvaviscus arboreus.

On June 23 I stopped by to take a first look at the prairie restoration I’d read was under way on the grounds of the Elisabet Ney Museum. I ended up leaning over a low stone wall to photograph some turk’s cap plants, Malvaviscus arboreus, growing in a partly shaded area, as is their wont. It’s not my wont to open up my 100 mm macro lens all the way to f/2.8, but that’s what I did here, to grab as much light as I could. The result was selective focus in this picture of an opening bud, with parts of the front-most red petals sharp, and what appears to be a very tiny whitish spider on the tip of the front-most green bract also sharp. As for the rest of the image, beaucoup bokeh, if you forgive that bouquet of French and Japanese.

(Visit the USDA website for more information about Malvaviscus arboreus, including a clickable map showing where the species grows.)

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 5, 2011 at 5:51 AM

7 Responses

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  1. I’m a huge fan of red flowers – and this one is a beauty. We don’t have these in the PNW, so your post is a glimpse into a unique flower world.


    August 5, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    • Red has been noticeably absent from this blog, so I though it was time to introduce some. I’m assuming by PNW you mean Pacific Northwest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2011 at 10:37 AM

  2. What a lovley, lyrical image!


    August 5, 2011 at 9:31 AM

  3. This image I appreciate not as a photographer or artist but as just a viewer happening by. This looks like fingers holding something aloft……something precious. I stared at it for quite some time. I hope our society becomes ever increasingly aware of the precious gifts we need to strive to protect. This photo helps to remind me of that.


    August 5, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    • It’s coincidental that you write about seeing fingers holding something precious aloft. This morning I was photographing some eastern gamagrass, whose species name dactyloides means “looking like fingers.” I’m pleased that this photo not only gave free rein to your imagination but reminded you of the things in nature that we need to protect. Thanks, Leslie.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 5, 2011 at 1:55 PM

  4. […] of turk’s caps that I took on the grounds there in June and that I posted in this blog on August 5 and August 6. She invited me to display them at the museum as part of Austin Museum Day, and I […]

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