Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

No flowers, buds, plants, grasses, seeds, trees, leaves, bugs, sky, or bright colors

with 23 comments

Just bubbles at the base of a small waterfall in Great Hills Park on July 18th after a good overnight rain. The center part could be ice, don’t you think?

Bubbles at Base of Small Waterfall in Creek 7986

Click for better clarity.

Details: 1/800 sec. (to stop much of the movement) at f/14 (to get good depth of field) with flash (for enough light to make those two settings possible simultaneously).

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 20, 2014 at 5:54 AM

23 Responses

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  1. Very ice like. A cooling shot for a hot day. Was it a hot day?


    July 20, 2014 at 6:19 AM

    • Not especially hot for July in Texas, but hot enough (maybe 28°C) and humid enough that after the hour I spent in the park parts of my clothing were damp or downright wet.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2014 at 7:44 AM

      • Well, I expect right now the water in the bird bath has frozen over. It’s a bit dark, not to mention cold, to go out and take a photo of iced water for you.


        July 20, 2014 at 8:14 AM

        • We’ll understand if you stay inside to enjoy the warmth—and sleep, given that it’s around 1:30 AM in New Zealand now.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 20, 2014 at 8:28 AM

  2. I know you like to ‘stop’ the action. Do you ever try long exposures on falls?

    Jim in IA

    July 20, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    • I’ve seen many photographers do that, but I don’t think I’ve never tried it. Years ago I experimented with long exposures while zooming and moving the camera in order to make wraith-like pictures of people.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2014 at 7:49 AM

  3. Just the kind of image I need today to cool me down – it’s very hot here in Bavaria! Yes, it really does look icy.


    July 20, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    • Somehow I never think of Bavaria being hot, even in summer. Shows how much I know. Anyhow, I’m glad you find this ersatz ice cool.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2014 at 9:13 AM

  4. Ironically, the first thing I thought of when I saw this was our recent years-long drought, and the resultant fires. To see something like this again just floods me with gratitude.

    I’ve been reminded of a long-time favorite song, too. It’s by Holly Near, and is hard to find. But, it certainly suits your photograph.


    July 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    • Seems we’re never far from drought here—nor from floods. I read in the local newspaper yesterday that the overnight rain from Thursday into Friday caused the closure of 38 roads and 14 low-water crossings; it also left some 10,000 people without electricity. Great Hills Park looked normal for a morning after a good rain. That was quite a contrast to last fall’s Halloween rain, which made the creek that flows through the park rise so high and flow so fast that flood waters swept away trees and even an old dam on the creek.

      I didn’t know the Holly Near song, but I can see why this reminded you of it. I noticed how the tinkling piano in the middle and again at the end simulated the sound of rain coming down.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2014 at 12:07 PM

  5. It just occurred to me. Without what you picture here, there wouldn’t be any flowers, buds, plants, grasses, seeds, trees, leaves, bugs. There wouldn’t be any us, either. There might still be sky, but there would be a serious absence of clouds.


    July 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    • At least there wouldn’t be any us in the form that we know. I can imagine forms of life not dependent on water, but we hydrated creatures don’t know whether any of those other types exist. It’s fun to speculate, but in the meantime I was happy enough to wield my camera and play with this bubbly water.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

  6. I could sit for loooong times watching water fall and the resulting bubbles.


    July 20, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    • Me too. A high shutter speed reveals configurations that last too short a time for our unaided senses to see them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2014 at 8:30 PM

  7. It does look ice-like and for good reason…you’ve frozen the motion.
    Your mention of our having a different form without water reminded me of the Hortas.

    Steve Gingold

    July 20, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    • Nice going with your quip about freezing the motion.

      I had to look up Horta to find out it was a silicon-based life form from Star Trek. I guess Horta doesn’t hear a HOO or a H2O.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2014 at 8:35 PM

  8. I’m wondering about the profusion of bubbles. Is the force of the stream that great, or are there pollutants that enhance the effervescence?


    July 21, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    • I’ve seen dense bubbles like these many times in various creeks around here, and although I suppose it’s possible that they’re all polluted, I think the bubbles are created naturally by the force of the water. The flows and bubbles change very quickly, too, and even if I set my camera to take several pictures a second, the patterns in all the pictures end up looking distinct.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 21, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      • I agree that if they change quickly, they’re probably a natural phenomenon. That’s a good thing.


        July 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM

  9. It looked icy to me at first glance.


    July 24, 2014 at 9:34 AM

  10. […] and bubbles were fairly static or if the water rushed by and produced rapidly changing bubbles I used a high shutter speed to freeze much of the action. In comments on a few of those photographs several people asked if I ever use a slow shutter speed […]

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