Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Back to a bud

with 35 comments

Bluebell Bud 9699

To end this cycle of pictures of bluebells, Eustoma exaltatum, let me go back to an early stage and give you your closest look yet at a bud, or more specifically the distal half of one. In the cycle’s first post I used the word sinuous, and now I’ll use it again to describe the edges of the tightly wound petals. Also in that first post you saw that a bud starts out white; now you see how it gradually turns violet as it prepares to unroll.

I made this picture on July 8 on the west side of US 183 south of TX 45 in the southern tip of Travis County.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 29, 2013 at 6:18 AM

35 Responses

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  1. this is beautiful


    July 29, 2013 at 6:45 AM

  2. It is amazing how nature packs such delicate structures into the flowers. And, there are things like milkweed pods with hundreds of individual seeds. Abundance of numbers raises the chances of survival of the species.

    Thanks for this series of photos. Excellent photography.

    Jim in IA

    July 29, 2013 at 6:56 AM

  3. If I were to title this one, I think it would be “Aflame with Beauty”. The image certainly glows.


    July 29, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    • How imaginative to see this as a flame. Now that you mention it, I believe there are gases that burn with this sort of color rather than the reds, yellows, and oranges that we (or at least I) usually think of flames having.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 7:24 AM

  4. Stunning shot. It reminds me of a cigar the way it is ‘wrapped’ round itself.


    July 29, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    • That’s another association I wouldn’t have made but that I see now that you point it out. Thanks for suggesting it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 7:26 AM

  5. This capture pulls me into the beauty of the bud. While I want to see its next stages, it is so lovely that I can be satisfied with its presence.


    July 29, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    • Over the years that I’ve looked at bluebells, I’ve been at least as fascinated by the buds as by the flowers. Like you, I can certainly be satisfied with a bud in its own right, though sometimes, as two pictures back, I play a bluebell bud and flower off against each other. Your statement “I can be satisfied with its presence” reminds me of an adage from the late 1960s: Be here now.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 8:11 AM

  6. Have loved this series – such variety in a single flower – and this looks to me like a turret from a fairytale! Beautiful – K

    • I can see it. Now all you have to do is write “The Tale of the Tapering Turret” and you’ll have a picture to illustrate it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 9:32 AM

  7. Encore du “parfait” Steve, les couleurs sont si délicates. J’ai été voir ton mandala et c’est vrai qu’il était de toute beauté.
    En s’éloignant du sujet, j’ai entendu “Blue Moon” chanté par tous ceux qui sont mentionnés sur Wikipedia.
    hi hi je t’ai fait réviser ta culture musicale lol… mais cela ne me rajeunit pas!!!


    July 29, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    • Le bouton de bluebell et le mandala de tournesol te remercient, Chantal.

      Même si “Blue Moon” ne te rajeunit pas, j’espère que les photos de fleurs que tu vois ice le feront.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 10:22 AM

  8. This is a wonderful image Steve! I love the subtle background color mimicking the flower bud.


    July 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    • Thanks, David. As you’ve seen in some other posts, there are times when I play one stage of a plant off against another, either overtly or by implication. Today’s picture is by implication: the purple haze in the background across the upper part of the photograph came from a group of fully open bluebell flowers farther away and therefore out of focus, which is how I wanted them so that they wouldn’t distract from the main subject of the bud.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 10:43 AM

  9. This is very beautiful indeed, Steve! I always enjoy your images – thank you 🙂


    July 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM

  10. Beautiful colors, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    July 29, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    • It seems I usually favor brighter colors and more contrast, but once in a while pastels and subdued tones get to me, which is the case here. I’m glad you like it, Steve.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 3:48 PM

  11. Nice. What reproduction ratio was this taken at? What lens? And, was lots of cropping involved after-the-fact? I ask because I’m very impressed with the resulting magnification. D

    Pairodox Farm

    July 29, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    • Good questions. My Canon EOS 5D Mark III takes pictures that are 22 megapixels each. In this case the original photograph included the whole bud and some details below it, but I cropped down to about one-third of the original area to create an abstract composition. The version actually posted here has been further reduced to about half a megapixel (and many bloggers post even smaller images to try to thwart piracy). As for the lens, the one I used here was the one I use most often, my Canon 100mm macro, which lets me record intricate details of things.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM

  12. I was going to ask about the background, however some one already asked. Stunning image of the bud and I love the background. Perfection!


    July 29, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    • Real estate people have a saying that the three most important things are location, location, and location. I’ve been tempted to say at times that the three most important things in photography are background, background, and background. In general, of course, that’s an exaggeration, but sometimes the background really is as important as the subject, and for me this photograph is one of those times. I’m glad you find it effective.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 29, 2013 at 9:36 PM

  13. This is an amazing shot. Beautiful detail and background. I’m guilty of not taking the time often enough to look really carefully and closely at the beauty that surrounds us in nature. This is a fine example of the kind of thing we miss when we don’t.


    July 30, 2013 at 5:05 AM

    • Thanks for your thoughtful words. There’s that saying about taking the time to stop and smell the roses, but roses aren’t native to Austin, so I’ve heeded the advice by substituting various wildflowers that are. (Okay, the bluebell doesn’t have any appreciable scent, but I stop and look at it all the same.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 30, 2013 at 7:02 AM

  14. Eustoma is a flower found only in florist’s shops in our part of the world. How wonderful to come upon them “in the wild”. Lovely close up.


    July 30, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    • Yes, it’s exciting to find them on their home ground. Let’s hope you can see them like that one day.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

  15. I love the stunning detail in this shot! Crisp and clear, with amazing color. Nice shot!!


    July 31, 2013 at 10:28 PM

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