Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bush sunflower from behind

with 31 comments

Click for greater clarity.

The bright yellow bush sunflower in the previous post, which I photographed on March 11 on Great Northern Blvd. in north-central Austin, might pass for a regular sunflower when seen from above, but the view from the side or below can show a reddish-brown coloring that Simsia calva doesn’t share with its much more familiar relative. Like the common sunflower, this is a hairy plant, as you clearly see here. While the common sunflower can be found just about everywhere, the bush sunflower grows natively in Mexico and, within the United States, only in Texas and New Mexico.

For those interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 3, 4, and 8 in About My Techniques are relevant to this image.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2012 at 1:37 PM

31 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Lovely photo with the black background.

    Garden Mantra

    March 30, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    • It’s an approach I use fairly often; sunlit yellow flowers are so bright that the background can appear dark or even black by comparison.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:14 PM

  2. This is a breathtaking view of this flower, Steve. It almost looks like studio lighting. If this were my photo, it would be on my living room wall.


    March 30, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    • Thanks, Ken. It does look like studio lighting, doesn’t it? In spite of appearances, that’s something I have no experience with.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:16 PM

  3. Another fantastic photo Steve!!!


    March 30, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    • Thanks, David. I was happy to portray my new find in different way, and the reddish-brown on the lower side of the rays helped me identify the species.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:19 PM

  4. This is stuning Steven. The lighting and detail is exquisite.


    March 30, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    • I’m pleased that you like it. I’ve posted a few pictures using the same technique, but not too many to wear out its welcome.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:21 PM

  5. I look forward to your posts every day, and I am amazed at the variety of beautiful flowers you share with us!


    March 30, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    • If that variety didn’t exist here I couldn’t share it with you, but I’m happy that Texas has such diverse flora. I appreciate your looking forward to these daily posts.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:23 PM

  6. I often think, and I do this time, what can you mean by GREATER clarity? But of course it’s true. It’s just that the photos are so clear to begin with! Every hair in place . . .

    Susan Scheid

    March 30, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    • It’s a function of what WordPress does when it displays a picture as part of the text of a post. I don’t know specifically what happens behind the scenes, but the photograph loses some of its sharpness. When you click to get the picture in a window of its own, the original sharpness reappears. That’s why I feel like I have to keep putting this caption under at least the horizontal photographs; the vertical ones aren’t affected as much, so with them I often skip the caption. I should also add that the originals are much larger, and therefore have considerably more detail, than the reduced versions I post here. A lot of photographers post even smaller versions than the approximately half-megapixel ones I do because they’re worried about piracy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM

  7. Again, a stunning image, and thanks for the reference to your technique tips which I had not noticed before.


    March 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    • You’re welcome. I mention the About My Techniques document from time to time for the benefit of readers who are interested in the technical side of photography; not all are, so I try not to overdo it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:55 PM

  8. OMG why do you not have a contract to illustrate a guide or a showing in a gallery!!! you are amazing. This is another photo I plan to have in my gallery!

    Bonnie Michelle

    March 30, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    • Thanks so much, Bonnie. I’ve been working at getting a publisher interested in a book of my Portraits of Wildflowers. If that ever happens I might be able to arrange a gallery opening to coincide with the book’s release. It’s a big IF, but we’ll see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      • if that happens please let me know I will try to coincide a visit to my daughter with a visit to your opening that is if I get an invitation!

        Bonnie Michelle

        March 30, 2012 at 5:09 PM

        • Many publishers take a year or even two to bring out a book, so nothing will be imminent. I’ll be happy to invite you if something should happen.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 30, 2012 at 5:14 PM

  9. Amazing shot Steve!

    H2O by Joanna

    March 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

  10. Outstanding shot!


    March 30, 2012 at 11:50 PM

  11. Perfect lighting, color, detail. Exquisite.


    April 1, 2012 at 6:39 PM

  12. Stunning!

    Mufidah Kassalias

    April 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

  13. A good reminder not to judge a sunflower only from the front (or top). We miss so much by looking only at one side.


    March 20, 2022 at 7:32 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: