Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Tansy-mustard by phlox

with 22 comments

Tansy Mustard Flowers by Phlox 1811

On April 7th along TX 71 about 10 miles east of Llano I photographed a wildflower that’s commoner out there than it is in Austin, where I’ve seldom encountered it. The wildflower in question is tansy-mustard, Descurainia pinnata.

The contrasting purple in the background is from some conveniently out-of-focus phlox flowers that were near the base of the taller mustard. What a different way to portray yellow than the last post, don’t you think?

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 29, 2015 at 5:23 AM

22 Responses

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  1. Love the gorgeous purple and yellow colours and the details of these delicate flowers. It’s quite a romantic image. 😉

    Jane

    April 29, 2015 at 5:29 AM

  2. Tansy mustard is a new one to me although it does appear to frequent Massachusetts. Looking at the USDA map, the only mainland state without this is Alabama. Kind of funny that it isn’t there but in all the surrounding states.
    Although I haven’t shot this mustard, I have shot the just plain old Tansy seen here… https://sggphoto.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/08-07-2014-tansy/. It’s a flower I look for every year. Now I’ll look for Tansy Mustard also.
    Nicely done with the phlox background.

    Steve Gingold

    April 29, 2015 at 5:35 AM

    • I usually favor sharpness, as you did in your crisp photographs of tansy, but because of the closeness to the flowers and the angle I needed to aim at to have the purple fill the background, I was able to keep only a few of the flowers sharp. As a result, and not unhappily, I went for a soft portrait.

      The USDA maps are compiled from people’s reports. It’s still possible that tansy-mustard grows somewhere in Alabama but hasn’t been reported. It’s also common for species to spread, so even if tansy-mustard grew nowhere in Alabama at the time the map was prepared, the species could still appear there later. In any case, now that you’re aware it’s in Massachusetts, let’s hope you find some.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 29, 2015 at 7:52 AM

      • Nothing wrong with some artistic softness in a flower portrait. That’s something people portraits aim for sometimes. I’ve always lusted after the Canon 85/1.2 for just that effect but it is quite a bit out of my price range.

        Steve Gingold

        April 29, 2015 at 3:53 PM

        • The largest-aperture lens I have is the old and inexpensive Canon 50mm f/1.4. I bought it a couple of years ago and find that I don’t often use it, but it has come in handy a few times in shaded places in the woods.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 29, 2015 at 4:13 PM

  3. Brilliant image – the purple phlox were in just the right place! Superb detail!

    Birder's Journey

    April 29, 2015 at 7:36 AM

  4. That is a perfect example of the beauty of complementary colors!

  5. Yes, wow! The purple really makes the yellow pop…but then it would of course. The detail you’ve captured is brilliant.

    melissabluefineart

    April 29, 2015 at 8:01 AM

  6. I love the contrasting colours. Lovely photo

    Raewyn's Photos

    April 29, 2015 at 3:34 PM

  7. This picture is fabulous. i love the purple background, what is it ? And the flowers are so sharp ! So many details 🙂

    darwinontherocks

    April 30, 2015 at 1:21 AM

  8. The phlox backdrop makes for a particularly amazing photo.

    Susan Scheid

    May 6, 2015 at 6:49 PM


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