Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

JULY IV, MDCCLXXVI

with 25 comments

Statue of Liberty Tablet 1A

Click for better clarity.

July 4, 1976, marked the bicentennial of the United States. That day found me in New Harmony, Indiana, on my way to Austin, but I’d spent June in New York. One of the things I did during my stay there was to go up into the Statue of Liberty, from whose crown I looked down and took this abstract photograph. It shows a relatively close view of the tablet that Liberty holds in her left hand, and the title of today’s post is the text that’s on that tablet.

In the 1970s I used lots of black and white infrared film, and because chlorophyll reflects high amounts of infrared light, the trees and grass in the photograph came out white. (A year and a half ago I posted one other infrared photograph from the same era.)

If you’re wondering what all this has to do with nature in Texas, the answer is: nothing. As I did on this date two years ago, I’m giving myself leave to depart from my normal approach to the natural world. Or you could say today’s image is a natural for the 4th of July holiday.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 4, 2013 at 6:15 AM

25 Responses

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  1. Have a great holiday Steve!

    Cathy

    July 4, 2013 at 7:31 AM

  2. This is one of my favorites of all your infra-rojo photos.

    Kitty Bo

    July 4, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    • It certainly brings back old times. Just this morning I was out driving in the Hill Country along 2222.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM

  3. It’s okay to shake things up a bit for no reason, especially when you have a great shot like this.

    oneowner

    July 4, 2013 at 8:46 AM

  4. When I first saw the photo, I thought it was a taken-from-the-space-station shot. No, but taken from space, at least in a sense. After reading your explanation, I found myself even more amazed by the human quality of Lady Liberty’s hand and fingers. I hope she’s holding on good and tight.

    shoreacres

    July 4, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    • I wish I had a lens powerful enough to take close-ups from space yet lightweight enough for me to carry around on my camera. As for Lady Liberty’s fingers, yes, they’re quite realistic. Sometimes my own have been known to intrude into a photograph, but the statue’s were a welcome intrusion.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM

  5. Steve, thank you for your lovely photographs, and your daring!

    Lynn SomersteinLynn

    July 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM

  6. Bonnes vacances Steve, je viens d’aller voir New Harmony, my gosh c’est chouette, je suppose que ce sont les couleurs de l’automne.
    J’ai failli aller à New-York pour mon travail quand j’étais jeune.. mais finalement ça ne s’est pas fait et je le regrette maintenant que je suis “vieille” j’aurais aimé voir la Statue de la Liberté!
    à bientôt

    chatou11

    July 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    • Mais il n’est pas trop tard. New-York t’attend toujours: viens-t’en!

      (Oui, ce sont les couleurs de l’automne.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 4, 2013 at 4:59 PM

  7. Freakin’ brilliant! With talent such as this, feel free to depart from nature pics more often! Hope you had a fun day yesterday!

    SmallHouseBigGarden

    July 5, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    • Thanks for your vote of confidence, Karen. Yesterday was my birthday, and I used that as an excuse for departing from the blog’s usual subjects. I used to teach math, so I can offer a second justification and say I went off on a tangent.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 5, 2013 at 7:35 AM

  8. You have observed before that IR was your ‘thing’ in another life. Perhaps you should revisit the genre … I very much enjoyed this image. D

    Pairodox Farm

    July 5, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    • Thanks, Dave. I’ve thought about having one of my older digital cameras altered to make it responsive to infrared light, but so far I haven’t acted. I can’t decide whether to let the past remain the past or to resuscitate it and hope some of the old magic carries forward.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 5, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      • Resuscitate the patient … resuscitate … by all means. And, if you add little bits of how-to suggestions here-and-there that would make it all the better. I have been thinking about purchasing an IR filter, just for fun. How is the alteration you refer to made? D

        Pairodox Farm

        July 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        • Actually, digital sensors are already sensitive to infrared light, so camera manufacturers routinely add a filter that blocks the infrared light but allows the visible colors to pass through. The modification amounts to removing the infrared-blocking filter. After that, there’s an option to add a filter that blocks some of the visible spectrum in order to enhance the infrared effect. If you do an Internet search for “infrared camera conversion” you’ll turn up plenty of articles with more information.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

  9. Enjoyed seeing this “blast from [your] past.” Remarkable photograph.

    Susan Scheid

    July 6, 2013 at 7:37 PM

  10. Taking a break is always good – keeps the creative juices flowing. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy

    dogear6

    July 6, 2013 at 11:04 PM

  11. I never knew that about chlorophyll, but it explains why I am drawn to infrared photographs in natural settings!

    Lynda

    December 12, 2016 at 5:01 PM


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