Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

In order not to have a pictureless day

with 28 comments

A colony of wild sunflowers; click for greater clarity.

While we’re being a bit frivolous on this holiday, and in order not to let a day get by without a single picture of nature, here’s a view of some wild sunflowers as Van Gogh might have painted them if he’d spent time at the end of his life not in Arles or Auvers but Austin.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM

28 Responses

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  1. That’s really cool! Is it a filter in a photo program or did you actually paint it?


    January 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

  2. It looks like fine embroidery! Amazing!

    Painter Lady

    January 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

  3. Pretty cool what software can do…especially if you have something good to start with. It does look like a Van Gogh!


    January 1, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    • I don’t often play with distorting filters, but this one appealed to me so I went ahead and granted the appeal. Because the filter does an excellent job of mimicking Van Gogh, I felt I should choose a picture with sunflowers to be faithful to the painter.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

  4. Lovely effect! Happy New Year Steve!

    Sheila Creighton

    January 1, 2012 at 3:01 PM

  5. OK so if I purchase Photoshop CS5 or CS4 I will be able to download and follow your lead? I certainly hope so! Love the effect.

    Bonnie Michelle

    January 1, 2012 at 3:26 PM

  6. What a wonderful sunny and bright feast for the eyes especially after many days of grey, dank weather where I live.

    I love the effect you’ve chosen which looks like a textured Van Gogh. Very nice indeed.


    January 1, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    • Happy sunshine! I’m glad this brought some back to you. We had 2–3 weeks of gray skies here but for the last week it’s been sun, sun, sun.

      I’m glad that you like the Pixel Bender-ed version of sunflowers à la Van Gogh.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 4:48 PM

  7. With the Photoshopped effect, it has a very charming, otherworldly quality. Yes, very Vincent indeed, and the complementary colors bring such energizing light to the party. Lovely!


    January 1, 2012 at 8:57 PM

  8. very amusing. A happy new year to you.


    January 2, 2012 at 4:11 AM

  9. Or starry, starry daylight effect–happy 2012, Sally

    Sally W. Donatello

    January 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    • Taking a cue from you, let’s consider these among the “flaming flowers that brightly blaze” the way into 2012.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2012 at 9:35 AM

  10. Quite a lovely effect. I do enjoy some of the post-processing that’s done, especially when the base is a good photograph. Of course, for the point-and-shooters like myself, programs like picnik are a godsend, as they allow only-fair photos to function perfectly well as blog illustrations and adjunct to text.

    Have you been to the Sunflower Bakery in Galveston? If you’re ever in the area on a weekend, they have the best brunch in town, in a sunny, Van Gogh-like environment.


    January 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    • I wasn’t aware of Picnik, but I looked it up. I can see where it would come in handy. As you’ve seen, I do almost nothing but straight photography, but once in a while it’s fun to play, and I like the effect that Pixel Bender’s Oil Paint filter produces.

      No, I haven’t heard of the Sunflower Bakery. I seem to find myself in Galveston only once every several years, but the next time I’m there I’ll try to stop by and soak up the atmosphere along with some lunch.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

  11. I love Van Gogh … and your interpretation of his sunflowers.

    Pat Bean

    January 4, 2012 at 8:58 AM

  12. Dear Steve, this is amazing. What would have thought, if Van Gogh saw this… This is so beautiful. Thank you, with my love, nia


    January 5, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    • what would he think if he were here… ? Sorry for my English.


      January 5, 2012 at 7:14 AM

      • Don’t be sorry for your English. I wish I could do that well in Turkish. When I was in college I tutored a Turkish girl in elementary astronomy. I think she taught me three words of Turkish, though after all these years I can remember only two of them: güzel, which matches your comment above, and ay, which fits with astronomy.

        Steve Schwartzman

        January 5, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    • I’m glad you find it beautiful. I remember my father taking me to the Museum of Modern Art in New York when I was a boy; that’s where I first saw a real Van Gogh.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 5, 2012 at 8:15 AM

  13. Beautiful, something different, I love it 🙂


    January 15, 2012 at 1:47 PM

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