Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bulrush meets minimalism

with 23 comments

Bulrush leaf turning colors; click for greater detail.

When I was at the pond between Parmer Lane and Center Ridge Dr. on the prairie in northeast Austin on August 11, I used my 100mm lens as a telephoto to take the picture of bulrushes (genus Schoenoplectus) shown yesterday. While at that location I also used the lens the way I most often do, as a macro, to take close-up pictures of a bulrush leaf that intrigued me because it was drying out and turning the warm colors you see here, which were enhanced by the sunlight coming through the leaf from behind. Consider this an example of minimalism, whose credo is “Less is more.”

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 31, 2011 at 6:00 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Sunset on a leaf – beautiful!!


    August 31, 2011 at 6:36 AM

    • Thanks, Shelly. You’ve coined a great phrase: sunset on a leaf. In the post I neglected to mention that I visited the bulrushes in the morning, so the truth squad may insist on saying sunrise on a leaf. We’ll credit you with two good phrases for the price of one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2011 at 7:00 AM

  2. Completely lovely. Thank you for taking the time to share the macro with us – so may appreciate the beauty of the bulrush as a unique individual among a field of many.


    August 31, 2011 at 7:07 AM

    • Thanks, Dawn. My father was a great proponent of individualism, and I’ve inherited some of that from him, but I hadn’t thought about the way this leaf stands out from all the others till you pointed it out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2011 at 7:38 AM

  3. gorgeous, nature’s beautiful art mixed with your ability to see


    August 31, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    • Thanks, Tammie. You’re right that there’s so much to see in nature. Although I manage to notice certain things, I often had the thought that I must have walked right past plenty of others.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2011 at 12:16 PM

  4. This is quite lovely! Great image, as always.

    Angelina Reese

    August 31, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    • I’m glad you find it lovely and great, Angelina: I can live with those adjectives—and your “as always” is welcome as well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2011 at 5:18 PM

  5. This is a PHOTO!!!!??? I am totally impressed.


    September 1, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    • Aye, ’tis. Thanks for being impressed, Leslie. The camera can do minimalism as well as Mark Rothko, Josef Albers and others did in the medium of paint.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 1, 2011 at 11:23 PM

  6. Very pretty!

    Holly Brown

    September 4, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    • I thank you (and, if I can paraphrase a recent comment by my sister, the bulrush thanks you too).

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 4, 2011 at 11:35 AM

  7. this is really something, cries out to all the senses. stunning.


    September 5, 2011 at 6:06 PM

  8. Stunning is exactly the right word…what colours… and captured beautifully. Thank you…


    September 7, 2011 at 6:44 AM

  9. Yes, a great backlit bulrush in those wondrous orange hues. I do love the minimalism. Great to meet another who “sees” what I see, too.

    Bo Mackison

    September 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

  10. […] If most people in Texas are surprised to learn that there’s a local member of the sunflower family that’s a willowy tree, they’re equally surprised to find out there’s a member of the sunflower family here that’s a vine. If it’s any consolation, and with deference to The Way Things Are Supposed To Be, in neither case do the blossoms of those two species pretend to look like sunflowers. Shown here is the vine, Mikania scandens, called climbing hempvine and climbing hempweed. This one was flowering as it did its climbing on a cattail alongside a pond in northeast Austin on August 11; the photograph is from the same session that produced the minimalist picture of a bulrush leaf turning colors. […]

  11. […] out and turn bright colors in hot weather too, as some of you saw back in August in a photograph of a bulrush; it’s a sedge rather than a grass, and its leaves are typically several feet long rather than […]

  12. Love it! 🙂
    I like minimalist style and am still learning to create it. 🙂


    December 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM

  13. […] to turn warm colors, as you can see from photographs in which I’ve shown a yellowing leaf of a bulrush and a […]

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