Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Greenbrier in autumn, part 4

with 14 comments

Backlit greenbrier leaf; click for greater detail.

The pictures in the last three posts showed that greenbrier leaves can become colorful in the fall. Today’s image—the last in the series—gives an even closer view of the venation of one of these leaves. To take this photograph I sat on the ground with the leaf between the camera lens and the afternoon sun. That arrangement led to a bright, translucent leaf that revealed a great deal of detail, and it caused the shadowed trees in the background to appear very dark. The contour of this lower end of the leaf reminds me of the southern part of Africa, even though the two are somewhat different. You could also see a resemblance to the southern part of India if you’re willing to slight Sri Lanka. And if you look at the dark reddish-brown, almond-shaped spot at the top center and see it as some sort of slanted eye, then you have an imagination as susceptible to suggestion as mine at the moment.

Like the last two pictures, this one came into being on the partly sunny afternoon of December 17 in the relatively new “panhandle” of St. Edward’s Park that’s on the east side of Spicewood Springs Rd. in my northwestern part of Austin. For more information, including a state-clickable map showing the places in the southeastern United States where Smilax bona-nox grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 21, 2011 at 5:13 AM

14 Responses

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  1. For me, the venation suggests scales and the shape the head of a snake. Monet loved to paint a backlit subject, and I, like you, enjoy photographing one. ~ Lynda


    December 21, 2011 at 6:33 AM

    • Good for you for adding a serpent to the mix, Lynda, and for joining Monet in favoring backlit subjects with your camera.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 21, 2011 at 8:10 AM

  2. I love the warmth in this image – it looks like it was taken by a heat sensitive camera. 🙂


    December 21, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    • Although I tolerate summer much better than winter, sometimes even I have felt like I’m a heat-sensitive camera!

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 21, 2011 at 9:04 AM

  3. Another stunning photo.


    December 21, 2011 at 9:17 AM

  4. beautiful backlighting !

    abu zar

    December 21, 2011 at 1:38 PM

  5. Excellent! Love the vein detail on the leaf, and your method of creating a ‘black’ background worked very well. Cheers!


    December 21, 2011 at 11:16 PM

  6. Thanks for leaving the comment on my blog, Steve. I thought I had subscribed to yours and almost missed this series and following your link got me here.
    Enjoyable study series with some really rich colors. You’ve done a nice job pretty much covering all the features of Greenbrier which is a plant I am not familiar with.

    Steve Gingold

    December 22, 2011 at 4:25 AM

    • And thank you, Steve. If you did your nature photography here rather than in Massachusetts, you’d surely have run into greenbrier (ouch).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 22, 2011 at 6:28 AM

  7. Nice!


    December 29, 2011 at 3:43 PM

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