Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 7th, 2011

Sun on a cloudy day

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Sunflower and visitors (myself included) on a cloudy morning; click for more detail.

As another visual harvest from the noisy embankment of the US 183 freeway in Austin on the overcast morning of December 1, behold once again a sunflower, Helianthus annuus, a species that appeared so often in the springtime of this column. Sunflowers typically begin flowering in central Texas in the latter part of May and they usually reach their peak by the end of June, but it’s common for a few to straggle on even through late fall, until there’s finally a freeze.

Many photographers have had the experience of looking at an image on the computer screen and seeing something they hadn’t noticed when they took the picture. Call it tunnel vision if you like, say it’s a defect or a gift, but it’s real. In this case, when I was out in the field I never noticed the insect on the green bract of the sunflower, even though it was sitting so prominently in the center of that ring of bracts. All I can say is that the sunflower’s bright rays curving upward drew my attention away from the darker regions of the flower head just below.

For those interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 3, and 8 in About My Techniques are relevant to today’s picture.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 7, 2011 at 5:05 AM

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