Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Muted colors

with 9 comments

Switchgrass Drying Out with Blue Sky 9476

It isn’t only bright colors that signal late fall in central Texas. In fact the opposite is true, with muted and subtler colors usually predominating. As an example, take this stand of switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County on November 26th. Still, I’ll grant you that the saturated blue sky on that day did a lot to raise the grass’s subdued tones into a brighter realm.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 2, 5, and 15 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 20, 2014 at 5:36 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I’m a real fan of the more subtle earth-tones that autumn and early winter bring us, too. Just finished a 5,000-mile road trip to Big Sur and back, and we loved all the various hues of the foliage we found. My best for your holidays, Steve!


    December 20, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    • 5000 miles to Big Sur and back is quite a trek, and a chance to see different styles of autumn. I’m glad to see some visual fruits of that trip beginning to appear on your blog.

      Happy holidays, Gary, as well as recuperation.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 20, 2014 at 9:21 AM

  2. I do love blue and brown, in nearly any shade. My favorite combination is adobe and turquoise, but this is so typically Texas. The grass is very nearly the color of drying Iowa cornstalks, equally beautiful against a vibrant blue sky.


    December 20, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    • The botanist will point out that switchgrass and maize are both grasses native to the Americas, even if an American Indian of two centuries ago would have a hard time relating to the vast fields of cultivated corn that now cover such large parts of the Great Plains.

      This switchgrass, which was growing on a slight rise, captured my attention as soon as I saw it. I was happy not only to gaze on it in its own right, but also to have an easy shot, one for which all I had to do was kneel to keep from including a glimpse of the hill farther back and to raise the seed heads into the clear blue sky.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 20, 2014 at 11:21 AM

  3. Kudos for a shot that few would stop for let alone photograph. The bright but controlled light and mellow blue sky makes for a pleasing combination.

    Steve Gingold

    December 20, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    • I think you’re right that not many would stop for this shot, but I’ve come to appreciate some of the less-than-typically-attractive things in nature. Thanks for the kudos.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 21, 2014 at 6:53 AM

  4. This has got to be my favourite shade of blue and I do like the contrast with the subtle earthy tones of the grass. Lovely!


    December 21, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    • Thanks, Jane. The combination of the two colors epitomized one type of autumn day that’s common here, and that we both find lovely.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 21, 2014 at 7:02 AM

  5. […] check out its wiiiiiiiide waterfall. No one had moved it, as these two pictures confirm. Notice the switchgrass in the upper left of the second […]

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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: