Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Last late afternoon in the country, part 2

with 22 comments

Colorful Shore Rocks 8271

Here are two more colorful images from Little Manly Beach late in the afternoon on February 26th. If you compare the pale blue-grey structures along the bottom of the first photograph with those at the top of the second, you’ll see that they are the same stratum of rock. I looked back at my archive just now and found that I took a few broader views that include both colorful areas in the same frame, but artistically I prefer these closer, separate abstractions. I don’t know what the chartreuse in the second picture is—perhaps moss—but it and the rock patterns around it certainly caught my attention.

Colorful Shore Patterns 8261

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 14, 2015 at 5:23 AM

22 Responses

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  1. These are so interesting and full of color, like your post from the other day. Were these taken at a distance of only a few feet, looking down, as you were standing on the shore?

    Birder's Journey

    July 14, 2015 at 5:40 AM

    • With abstractions like these, you really can’t tell the orientation or the distance, can you? With the picture you saw yesterday, I was looking down, while with the two today I was aiming horizontally at the vertical face of an embankment. As for distances, I was using a 24mm–105mm lens and I zoomed in and out a lot to get compositions that looked good to me, so it’s hard to say how close to the camera each subject was. In general, the closest I stood to the many abstract subjects might have been half a meter, and the farthest was several meters.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 14, 2015 at 7:39 AM

  2. ….they are so beautiful….we the viewers have no idea tho, Steve, if we are looking at something 7′ high or 7″ high. Can you tell us what the scale is of these?


    July 14, 2015 at 5:55 AM

    • I’m glad you find these beautiful, Lance. As a painter, you not surprisingly had the same question about scale as Carol did in her preceding comment. After you raised your question, I answered hers, so if you don’t mind looking back, you’ll see what I said to her about orientation and scale.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 14, 2015 at 8:16 AM

  3. Mother Nature has been splashing her colors about again, I see. These colors are wonderful together. I also like the close view so your eye can wander around, savoring the textures and color subtleties.


    July 14, 2015 at 7:09 AM

    • Details, details, give me those textured and colorful details. There’s more to appreciate in the originals, which (if not cropped) are 22 megapixels, compared to the half a megapixel of these Internet versions.

      You’ve got me wondering to what extent, if any, the abstract expressionist painters were influenced by natural forms like these.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 14, 2015 at 8:20 AM

      • I have to think quite a lot, even if sub-consciously. Once in awhile my camera has taken a photo of the ground along a trail, and the results are more interesting than anything I could have composed myself.


        July 17, 2015 at 7:14 AM

  4. I love these! So naturally beautiful.

    Art at Hand

    July 14, 2015 at 7:45 AM

  5. Two more nice abstracts, Steve. The second really does look like an aerial landscape shot.

    Steve Gingold

    July 14, 2015 at 2:34 PM

    • Knowing what these are, I hadn’t seen them as aerial landscapes, but I understand how you could, especially with the green taking the place of a forest. One of the insights of fractals—not that the structures in that picture are fractals—is that things at vastly different scales can look similar.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 14, 2015 at 4:19 PM

  6. Love these shots. Very abstract with great colours. I really must go out exploring. I thought I would go to the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers one day this summer to see what I can find.

    Raewyn's Photos

    July 14, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    • These have become some of my favorite abstractions, and there are a few more to come in the days ahead. You have so many great things New Zealand, so I salute your resolve to go out exploring once the weather warms up.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 14, 2015 at 4:21 PM

  7. Perhaps because I just came from Steve G’s pastels, the top photo looks very much as though a painter had taken his triptych and worked some magic. Beyond that, the energy is reminiscent of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” The curves in your photo aren’t so well defined as the star swirls, but they’re there.

    The second one is even more interesting. I thought immediately of Edvard Munch’s “Summer Night on the Beach.” I suppose it was the green foreground that brought it to mind. It’s interesting that two photos from the same location could evoke two different painters.


    July 14, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    • It’s completely off-topic, but your mention of a triptych suddenly reminded me of the Trip-Tiks that AAA (American Automobile Association) used to make up for travelers (and may still do, for all I know).

      I can see the top image as being part-way on a journey to “Starry Night.” I wasn’t familiar with Munch’s “Summer Night on the Beach,” but I see connections to both of the photographs. You’re right that it’s curious how you thought of two painters, given that the formations shown in the photographs aren’t just from the same general location but even partly overlap.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM

  8. I think it quite likely that your chartreuse ornamentation is lichen, rather than moss. New Zealand has a spectacular spectrum of both lichens, mosses, and fungi, and one could easily devote serious study to any one (or more) of these. I’m particularly attracted to the lichens, too.


    July 15, 2015 at 6:46 PM

    • Yeah, I thought about lichen as a possibility, and that may well be what this chartreuse stuff was. I’d earlier showed two photographs of things that are unmistakably lichens, but I wasn’t sure about this one. Fortunately for the effectiveness of the image, it doesn’t matter what the subject was.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 15, 2015 at 9:45 PM

  9. […] day on this trip, and in particular I wanted to go back to Whangaparaoa, where I’d seen some colorfully appealing patterns on Little Manly Beach in 2015. Alas, even as we drove back to Whitianga from Cathedral Cove, drops […]

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