Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Branching patterns

with 24 comments

Goldeneye Remains 5700

The first thing that I stopped to photograph on January 23, and the last that I’ll show you from that session, was the scraggly and therefore intriguing remains of some goldeneye, Viguiera dentata. I’d hoped for fog pictures that morning, and although I didn’t get any, these dried plants against a gray sky turned into a semi-silhouette in which the farther branches seem to be disappearing into what could have been but wasn’t actually fog. The resulting image has the look of an old-fashioned split-tone photograph that uses black and brown. It’s something different from what you’ve usually seen here, another case of variety being the species of life.

Like the previous six photographs, this one came from a bluff above Loop 360 near the aptly named Bluffstone Dr. in northwest Austin. The fruits of that foray fed this blog for a full week.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 5, 2013 at 6:22 AM

24 Responses

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  1. This is a stunning effect, with such a light background – and I love dried seed heads anyway. It reminds me of glass templates typically used in Germany as window decorations.


    February 5, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    • Thanks for mentioning the glass templates used in Germany as window decorations, which I knew nothing about and could never have likened these dried plants to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 5, 2013 at 7:57 AM

  2. Comme un magnifique tableau.


    February 5, 2013 at 8:21 AM

  3. There is beauty in dead things-flora that is. Austere but striking photo.


    February 5, 2013 at 9:10 AM

  4. I love it. I thought at first you had done some indoor work in a white box.


    February 5, 2013 at 10:02 AM

  5. Fantastic. It is like a drawing or print.


    February 5, 2013 at 10:11 AM

  6. simply beautiful.


    February 5, 2013 at 10:25 AM

  7. At first glance I was sure it was a sketch! Brilliant result!


    February 5, 2013 at 10:41 AM

  8. Loving your capture – this would look good on a stretched canvas with wheat colored sides:)


    February 5, 2013 at 10:57 AM

  9. This is beautiful! I could see this as a print on fabric, or as a wallpaper.


    February 5, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    • Thank, Lynda. The idea of using a nature photograph for a fabric pattern or something similar has come up, but I haven’t yet pursued it, and as far as I know no one else has—at least not with one of my photographs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 5, 2013 at 2:23 PM

  10. These are lovely, I’m really fond of a seedhead. It reminds me of some fashionable wallpaper around at the moment!


    February 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    • You’re another fancier of seedheads, and a second proponent today of nature designs on wallpaper. Seems like I’m missing out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 5, 2013 at 2:37 PM

  11. Love the delicate, etched quality of this.

    Susan Scheid

    February 5, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    • You’re the first person ever to describe one of my photographs as having an etched quality. Happy novelty.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

  12. I can imagine this in a book called “Faux Sneaux – A Gulf Coast Winter”. What would be more fun than a series of photos that recall traditional, snow-covered winter, and yet contain not a flake of snow?

    One of my favorite of your images to date – I’m a great fan of desiccation. 😉


    February 7, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    • I’m a big fan of desiccation, too. Just this morning I was going through my archives and found some pictures from 2005 of dried-out sumpweed that really appealed to me (and that, like the Lindheimer’s senna with raindrops on it, I’d never processed until now).

      I like your idea of faux sneaux, and the phrase as much as the idea itself. It could make for a great sheaux.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

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