Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Different coastal rocks in close proximity

with 32 comments

Colorful Coastal Rocks 4242

While we were waiting for the ferry from Tiritiri Matangi back to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula on February 8th, I browsed the shoreline and was surprised to find rather different (and differently photogenic, and differently wet) sections of rock in close proximity.

Colorful Coastal Rocks 4273

These were close not only to each other but also to the lichen on dark rocks you saw here a few days ago.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2015 at 5:26 AM

32 Responses

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  1. You do have an eye for detail. Lovely.


    March 22, 2015 at 5:56 AM

    • Usually more for detail than for large-scale vistas, but if I lived in New Zealand there’d be much more of the latter than is available in central Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2015 at 7:25 AM

  2. I love rocks, and it is interesting to see how different they look from a far away place. I especially like the first image.


    March 22, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    • If I lived in New Zealand I could easily do a whole book (or several books) of pictures showing details of rocks (and shells and seaweed and driftwood and….). The first of these two images grabs me more too, probably because the wetness brings out more colors in the rock.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2015 at 7:33 AM

  3. Lovely examples of the abstract in nature…


    March 22, 2015 at 8:18 AM

  4. The rock in the first photo appears to be from some sort of flow: like pouring out fudge that set up too fast. Or, it could be sandstone with really interesting erosion patterns. Whatever it is, it’s lovely. I wondered if it was wet when I first saw it, so thanks for confirming that.

    I finally figured out this morning that Tiritiri Matangi and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula used to be joined. It makes sense; I just hadn’t considered it.


    March 22, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    • I’m no geologist, but New Zealand is very much a geothermally active region even today, so it’s plausible that these rocks resulted from a volcanic flow. In any case, as you said: “Whatever it is, it’s lovely.”

      I hadn’t considered the connection, the literal connection, that once existed between the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and Tiritiri Matangi, but that too is plausible. Sea levels rise and fall so often in geological time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2015 at 10:38 AM

  5. Great photos Steve. Did you get to the West Coast of the South Island – there are the pancake rocks. You would be in photographic heaven there.

    Raewyn's Photos

    March 22, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    • Yes. The picture of flax that appeared two posts back was taken along SH 6 north of Greymouth. A little later that day I spent an hour at Punakaiki and will have a picture of the rocks there coming up in good time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2015 at 9:02 PM

  6. Stunningly beautiful fotos – and beautiful phenomena – nature is also a great artist !!!


    March 22, 2015 at 5:53 PM

    • The rocks in New Zealand kept fascinating me, so I wanted other people to see some of them too. In some cases, including these two, it was pretty easy to compose and press the button. In other places I had to work harder for my pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2015 at 9:05 PM

  7. Two very nice rocky abstracts. I was thinking the same thing as Linda regarding the implied flow of the first.

    Steve Gingold

    March 22, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    • We’ll make that two votes for fudge in the first photo, or at least an implied flow. I know you’d have a great time doing abstractions with some of the rock formations in New Zealand, though I understand that Maine is a lot closer to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2015 at 9:07 PM

  8. Wonderful rocks. I’love.

  9. Mother Nature loves to create beauty in abstract forms and in variegated colours. Rocks seem so ordinary, yet are filled with delights to the eye.

    Mary Mageau

    March 23, 2015 at 6:59 PM

    • Visual delights indeed, Mary. Shakespeare wrote about sermons in stones; my approach to the subject is to make photographs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2015 at 7:13 PM

  10. Gorgeous!!!


    March 24, 2015 at 6:27 PM

    • Why can’t I find rocks like these in Texas? Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 24, 2015 at 7:02 PM

      • I’ve seen a little of this along the Guadalupe (near and under it), and quite differently, in the middle of a friend’s pre-statehood TX ranch (5000 acres of beautifully minimally-developed land). But not a whole lot, sadly.


        March 24, 2015 at 8:37 PM

        • And I’ll grant there are some good rocks in far west Texas, but that’s a day’s drive away.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 24, 2015 at 8:58 PM

  11. There are so many amazing visual opportunities available to those of us who love to explore the shorelines–it’s a delight to see the work of a visual artist on his first visit. The long-since-hardened lava flows are everywhere, and it’s easy to get so accustomed to them that they can come to be taken for granted, if one loses something of the initial wonder. May we forever keep that magical gift.


    March 24, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    • May we keep that magical gift indeed. I didn’t have nearly enough time to get satiated with the coasts of New Zealand, and I kept working on the shore right through my last morning in the country.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 24, 2015 at 8:00 PM

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