Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Paloverde after sunset

with 6 comments


Late in the afternoon on October 17th we checked into our hotel in southern Phoenix and then went out to see what we could in the brief time left before sundown. With a goal of this trip being to go where we hadn’t gone on previous visits to certain areas, I drove to South Mountain Park, a place I’d wanted to visit during our 2014 trip but hadn’t managed to get to. This turned out to be a popular park for evening hiking, even during the week. By the time we found a parking space and walked along a trail for a few minutes, little natural light was left for pictures, so I added flash to the mix. The resulting photograph isn’t how anyone present saw the scene, but I like the effect and hope you do too.

The tree, by the way, is a paloverde. I later learned that there are two similar local species, Parkinsonia microphylla and Parkinsonia florida; I’m not sure which one this was.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 20, 2016 at 4:53 AM

6 Responses

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  1. You’ve caught rather a striking contrast between the bright, mossy green of the branches and that deep purple sky. The flash was a good idea, in my eye.


    November 20, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    • The eyes have it. The word twilight means ‘two lights,’ and that’s what I balanced here. My impression is that the mix of natural and artificial light produced a better result than either kind of light alone. I’m glad you concur.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2016 at 9:09 AM

  2. This one looks, to my eye, like it was taken underwater. Once one gets down to 30 or 40 feet most color, other than blue, attenuates. Flash brings the color back … and leaves the background in a bluish haze. So, the Paloverde looks to be a beautiful soft coral, waving in the ocean current.

    Pairodox Farm

    November 20, 2016 at 6:35 PM

    • Now that’s a novel take on this image, one I’d never have come up with because I’ve never dived. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 20, 2016 at 8:02 PM

  3. I do like the effect. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the Belt of Venus used as a backdrop in quite this way, but it works well, and neither the sky nor the tree overwhelms the other. Very pretty.


    November 21, 2016 at 9:34 PM

    • I find the balancing in cases like this to be hit and miss. With enough time to do some experimenting, there’s usually a good chance of hitting it right.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 21, 2016 at 10:40 PM

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