Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Anemone flower by dry leaf

with 44 comments

Purple Anemone Flower by Dry Leaf 9223

When I walked in the greenbelt north of Old Lampasas Trail in northwest Austin on March 15th I found a fair number of anemones (Anemone berlandieri) in a place where I’d found them equally numerous in the early spring of other years. The flowers of this species range in color from white, as you saw last month, to the rich purple shown in this specimen. The nicely contrasting background brown came from a large, dry leaf on the ground near the anemone.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2015 at 5:08 AM

44 Responses

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  1. The background is great, just the right color to really bring out the flower

    Johanna Åkesson

    March 30, 2015 at 5:18 AM

    • The leaf was close but still far enough away that the macro lens couldn’t resolve its details and turned it into an ideal background.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2015 at 7:08 AM

  2. A beautiful windflower. Was it windy that day? http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=anemone


    March 30, 2015 at 5:31 AM

    • All the animation (a Latin-derived relative of Greek anemone) was on my part that morning. The wind will wind its way in memory through other windflower encounters, but not this one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2015 at 6:19 AM

      • Although I am blown away by this beautiful windflower I am pleased you were not wind-ed obtaining the photo.


        March 30, 2015 at 7:37 AM

        • Sometimes I do have to pause and unwind from my exertions in nature, but that wasn’t the nature of this outing.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 30, 2015 at 7:52 AM

  3. Oh, this is a magnificent shot! The different colours and the varying textures of the shot make it a winner. It appeals to me very much.


    March 30, 2015 at 5:40 AM

    • Thanks, Jane. Some of the pictures of other anemones that I photographed during the same session turned out well, but the dry leaf near the base of this anemone provided a unique counter-color background I couldn’t resist.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2015 at 6:46 AM

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have no idea how much I needed to see that this morning – that beautiful, colourful sign of Spring. It is March 30th, and we were hit with blizzard-like conditions last night. The winds were so bad that I was getting kind of freaked out. Thank you for brightening my morning :).


    March 30, 2015 at 5:53 AM

    • You’re welcome, welcome, welcome, up there in the cold country called Canada, where a blizzard at the end of March is unfortunately not a rarity. Better a windflower than winds so bad they freak you out.

      I keep thinking that in late winter, when you folks up north have had close to half a year of cold, you should take a little vacation to a place like Texas to warm you up while waiting for spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2015 at 6:51 AM

  5. I like the nice warmth of the leaf as a background, Steve. Good isolation as well.

    We have the Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) locally, although still a few weeks away.

    Steve Gingold

    March 30, 2015 at 6:50 AM

    • Right you are, Steve: the leaf not only provided an excellent (because warm) counter-color to the purple of the anemone, but also blocked details on the ground that would have distracted from the flower.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2015 at 6:54 AM

  6. The first thing that caught my eye was the color contrast, then the radiant shape. Very nice.

    Jim in IA

    March 30, 2015 at 7:20 AM

  7. It’s like a floating signpost of Spring.


    March 30, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    • Interesting that you see it as floating, an impression I never had because I was all too aware of the ground around me. This is a case where less is more.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2015 at 9:11 AM

  8. It seems suspended in space and time. What a delicate little beauty!


    March 30, 2015 at 8:44 AM

    • Sally (in the previous comment) talked about floating, and you similarly say suspended. What a closeup lens doesn’t render can be as important as what it does.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2015 at 9:13 AM

  9. I found myself just staring at this beautiful flower and its glorious colors. It is like looking deep into a well of purple and yellow light. Perfection.


    March 30, 2015 at 9:56 AM

  10. This is so stunning. Love the colour of this anemone.

    Raewyn's Photos

    March 30, 2015 at 2:30 PM

  11. Such a dramatic photo!


    March 30, 2015 at 3:32 PM

  12. Very nice!


    March 30, 2015 at 11:08 PM

  13. What strikes me is the color of the flower’s center. If it had been a bright, pure yellow, I’m not sure the effect of the photo would have been so strong. The muted background and slightly greenish-yellow stamens and pistils help to balance the three elements of the photo: background, center and tepals. (Tepals? Is that right?) It’s a beautiful and unusual portrait.


    March 31, 2015 at 6:55 AM

    • This was different from the many other pictures I’ve taken of the local anemones, so I was glad for the novel view. I noticed the subdued yellow-green center, of course, but I hadn’t thought about the effect that a more sunshiny center would have created, for better or, as you imagine it, for worse.

      A vernacular name for this species is ten-petal anemone, but you’re right in pointing out that there aren’t any petals. One of my wildflower books notes that the sepals look like petals, which I believe makes those sepals tepals indeed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 31, 2015 at 7:24 AM

  14. Color wheel harmony. Nicely done with the bokeh!


    March 31, 2015 at 5:56 PM

  15. Gorgeous color, both the wildflower and the background.


    April 1, 2015 at 4:31 PM

    • I’ve been known to say that sometimes the background is as important as the subject, and this is a good example of that.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2015 at 5:20 PM

  16. Another perfect macro composition, and I love fine contrasting colors.


    April 9, 2015 at 3:44 PM

  17. Oh man~a purple Anemone! so jealous. Here is another plant that looks lovely against brown. One day my daughter and I plan to own a gallery, and I’m thinking a warm brown will be a nice color for the walls to set off the art.


    April 30, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    • A warm brown may be especially helpful if you open your gallery in a cold climate.

      We’re past the time of anemones now, but I look forward to them again next spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM

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