Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A flash of gold

with 14 comments


As we began our great Southwest trip on October 16th we noticed the many goldeneye bushes (Viguiera dentata) flowering along US 290 on the western side of Austin. No time to stop then, as we’d barely started on the 550 miles to El Paso, but nine days earlier I’d photographed some goldeneye flowers in my neighborhood. To get the picture shown here, I’d lain down and aimed up toward a flower head isolated against a patch of sky. There wasn’t a lot of light on the underside of the goldeneye bush so I added flash; the result was a bright flower head with a rich dark blue background around it. If you’d like a reminder of how yellowfully expansive a goldeneye colony can be, have a look back at a post from 2013.

As for the trip: I’ve spent a good part of the last few days sorting through thousands of pictures and haven’t finished organizing them yet, but the first of those photographs will put in an appearance next time. Woo hoo West!

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 18, 2016 at 5:06 AM

14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. beautiful !!!


    November 18, 2016 at 6:41 AM

  2. Mmm. That yellow and deep, dark blue is a gloriously happy contrast. Happy Friday, Steve! Cool front’s a-comin’…


    November 18, 2016 at 8:08 AM

    • I like your phrase “gloriously happy contrast,” Shannon.

      The currently predicted weekend low of 37° in Austin is colder than anything I experienced on my recent trip, even at overnight altitudes around 7000 ft. The last two afternoons here brought us highs in the mid-80s.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 18, 2016 at 9:36 AM

      • Not been much cooler here; been sleeping with windows open mugginess and all, though barred owl calls make it bearable. I am sooo welcoming the cooler temps! No emoticon here can adequately portray my enthusiasm…


        November 18, 2016 at 8:03 PM

  3. I thought of you when I heard the weather forecast this morning. There won’t be any freezing temperatures for us, but maybe you’ll have a chance to see some frostweed ice.

    I can only imagine sorting through all your photos. Even combing through the stash from my trip has taken more time than I thought it would, although my higher proportion of bad-to-really-bad photos helped to speed the process along: an “advantage” I hope to forego in the future.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your views of the West, but this bit of homegrown gold is beautiful in its simplicity.


    November 18, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    • You prompted me to check the forecast and I found a weekend low of 37°. I’d say that’s borderline for some frostweed action. It seems iffy, but more importantly I’m not psychologically ready for frostweed ice pictures with my head so filled with images of saguaros and redwoods and the Pacific Ocean and boulders and mountains and deserts and sand dunes.

      I appreciate the way you spoke of “bad-to-really-bad pictures.” Some of my own from the trip have made me wonder why I even bothered to take them. I’m willing to extrapolate and assume all photographers have their ups and downs, and not just with mountains.

      Quantity isn’t quality, of course, but I figure if I take enough potentially good pictures there are bound to be some actually good ones among them. One consequence of that approach is that the laptop’s hard drive filled up half-way through the trip and I had to run out and buy another external hard drive.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 18, 2016 at 9:55 AM

  4. Beautiful! Love the simplicity!

    David Moll

    November 18, 2016 at 11:27 AM

    • Hi, David, and thanks. This is at the opposite end of the simple–complex scale compared to the wildflowers we saw on the prairie in the spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 18, 2016 at 11:45 AM

  5. I bet you had a great time .. Woohoo! Lovely shot Steve ..


    November 23, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: