Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 31 comments

Trentepohlia on Monterey Cypress Branches 0129

Do you remember the Monterey cypress with the unusually long branch I saw at Point Lobos, California, on November 3rd? A few minutes later I came to a grove of those Cupressus macrocarpa trees with branches heavily covered by a green alga designated Trentepohlia aurea v. polycarpa (according to one online source). Don’t be fooled by the orange color: in Trentepohlia “large quantities of carotenoid pigments… mask the green of the chlorophyll.”

This intricate view strikes me as a good way to inaugurate 2017, which is a prime number. The last prime year was 2011, when this blog began, and the next one won’t come along until 2027.

If you’re interested in photography as a craft, you’ll find that points 15 (not prime) and 19 (prime) in About My Techniques are relevant to today’s photograph.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2017 at 12:01 AM

31 Responses

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  1. Happy New Year! Looks like 2017 won’t be straightforward, if we take your photo as a starting point. But there will be lots of beauty.


    January 1, 2017 at 3:22 AM

    • You’ve already had your hopefully happy New Year’s Day while we’re still in the morning of ours, which we invite you to linger in vicariously. There will indeed be lots of beauty ahead.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2017 at 9:31 AM

  2. Very Cool! Can not wait to see what you post in 2017.

    Reed Andariese

    January 1, 2017 at 7:51 AM

    • There’s still plenty left from 2016, thanks to the great Southwest trip. Who knows what lies ahead?

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2017 at 9:32 AM

  3. Happy 2017! Hope you discover a myriad of wildflowers to post this year. I look forward to seeing and enjoying their images.


    January 1, 2017 at 9:06 AM

    • And the same to you. May 2017 indeed be another year for great wildflowers. In the meantime I’m still reveling in the grand landscapes and other scenes from the Southwest.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2017 at 9:37 AM

  4. Wow this is a pretty intense photo. I find it photosynthesethitically fascinating!


    January 1, 2017 at 9:53 AM

  5. Oh wow, Steve, that is soooooo beautiful! A very Happy New Year to you 😀

  6. Did you run into Medusa on your trip? My goodness, what a tangle! Once I got past Medusa, I was intrigued by the Rubin’s vase-like optical illusion. When I first saw the photo, I thought I was looking at snow on brown branches. Then I realized it was the Trentepohlia on gray branches. I can switch back and forth easily; it’s like having two photos in one.


    January 1, 2017 at 2:39 PM

    • Definitely Medusa-like in the way it drew me in. It made me wish I could spend more time at Point Lobos, especially with a blue sky peeking through some of the openings to add a fourth tone. The dark gray is cypress tree bark but I haven’t yet been able to identify the light gray growth, some sort of lichen or alga.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2017 at 5:28 PM

  7. A great image .. well executed 15 & 19! 😄


    January 1, 2017 at 5:41 PM

    • Thanks for your numerical confirmation and vote of confidence. I’d never seen any trees like these, so you can imagine how excited I got.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2017 at 6:15 PM

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