Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

More effects of rain

with 10 comments

Maidenhair Ferns by Boulder and Tree 8889

Here’s an intimate landscape* from my visit to Great Hills Park on November 4th. The recent rains had made the maidenhair ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris) turn a vivid green at the base of a boulder along the main trail in that area.


* Some nature photographers use the term intimate landscape for a scene that doesn’t include the sky or horizon but that provides a broader view than a closeup. You can read more about intimate landscapes in the fourth paragraph of an article about Eliot Porter’s work.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 13, 2015 at 5:15 AM

10 Responses

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  1. I’m glad you added that link about Porter’s work. Of course I’ve heard the term “intimate landscape,” but I had only a vague sense of its meaning.

    When I looked at this image, my first thought was that it was an interesting variation on the rule of thirds. Three elements — the clean lines of the tree, the heaviness of the rock, and the fall of the ferns — are beautifully balanced. It’s precisely the kind of interplay between pattern, texture, color, that was mentioned in the article. It’s quite appealing.


    November 13, 2015 at 6:04 AM

    • As ready as I always am to launch into a mathematical connection, I have to admit that in this case I wasn’t thinking that way, but I’m happy that you were. Because Austin lacks majestic scenery of the type mentioned in the article (the Tetons, Mesa Arch, Yosemite Valley, the Grand Canyon), when I’m not in the macro world I find myself doing intimate landscapes. Another advantage of an intimate landscape is in eliminating unwanted artifacts of the human world (telephone wires, poles, buildings, etc.) from intruding on nature—at least within the photograph, though unfortunately not in reality.

      In any case, I’m glad you found this little scene as appealing as I did.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 13, 2015 at 6:27 AM

  2. Exquisite. I, too, like the balance of elements and textures.


    November 13, 2015 at 10:35 AM

  3. Porter’s work has always been an inspiration for me. I am glad to see this nice intimate..not something I generally think of in Texas and, of course, anything green is a treat now for us here in the northeast.

    Steve Gingold

    November 16, 2015 at 3:21 AM

    • Many people don’t imagine forested pockets like this one when they think about Austin, and yet there are more of them than expected. Great Hills Park has the added advantage of being right in my neighborhood.

      I remember your affinity for Eliot Porter’s work.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2015 at 5:33 AM

  4. Intimate is a good term, it really captures the mood…I do love the emerald green color the forest turns when it rains.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    November 18, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    • An emerald green forest after the rain: now that’s something you know a lot more about in the Pacific Northwest than I do in central Texas. Too bad we can’t briefly swap.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 19, 2015 at 5:38 AM

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