Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Le rouge et le noir in Utah *

with 14 comments


On October 23rd of last year we followed Kolob Terrace Rd. northward in and out of the western side of Zion National Park. Eventually we got to the Kolob Reservoir and the grove of bare aspen trees you’ve already seen, but before then we stopped for the fall color shown here. While I didn’t pay attention to the dark trunks then, now they make me think a fire had passed through that area.

How different this is from the scenes of autumn in central Texas that you saw last time.


* Le rouge et le noir, or The Red and the Black, is the title of a novel by Stendhal.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 10, 2017 at 4:59 AM

14 Responses

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  1. “Le Rouge et le Noir”… Un grand roman, irréductible comme la vie, irréductible comme l’homme. 😉
    Cette photo est comme un tableau, les couleurs sont magnifiques.
    Belle journée


    January 10, 2017 at 5:59 AM

    • Malheureusement je n’ai jamais lu “ce grand roman, irréductible comme la vie, irréductible comme l’homme.”

      Cette portion de forêt rouge et noire m’a tant attiré que j’en ai pris 64 photos.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2017 at 7:52 AM

      • Oh… et nous aurons d’autres présentations de ces photos ?


        January 10, 2017 at 9:29 AM

        • Je ne crois pas, parce qu’il s’agit surtout de variations sur le même thème. En tout cas, j’ai encore pas mal d’autres photos de mon voyage à présenter ici.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 10, 2017 at 11:46 AM

  2. Great shot, Steve. It looks compressed, as if shot with a long lens.


    January 10, 2017 at 3:02 PM

    • Glad you like it, Ken. This scene fascinated me enough that I ended up taking 64 pictures of this grove, varying the distance and composition.

      You’re right that I have sometimes used my longest lens, which zooms to a 280mm equivalent with the 1.4x extender attached, to create abstractions, although that wasn’t the case here. I checked just now (thanks, metadata) to see where my 24–105mm lens was zoomed for this picture: it turned out to be 92mm.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 10, 2017 at 3:12 PM

  3. This is a stunning nature shot, Steve. Wonderful detail and color. So good!

    Jane Lurie

    January 10, 2017 at 11:29 PM

    • Thanks for appreciating it, Jane. There’s much to be said for abstraction, as you know so well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2017 at 2:02 AM

  4. Rouge et Noir is a gambling card game, too. I thought perhaps you’d taken a gamble on your photo, but then I saw the Stendhal reference.

    I think you’re right about the dark trunks being evidence of fire. I’ve never seen them in the midst of fall foliage, but they look remarkably like the woody skeletons I found surrounded by fresh prairie grasses on Sunday. It’s a beautiful image. It’s also a bit of a coincidence that you were taking such a leafy photo on October 23: the day I took my “shadow selfie” at the leaf-covered creek at the Tallgrass Prairie.


    January 11, 2017 at 7:40 AM

    • Now that you mention the coincidence of your shadow selfie, I can imagine those darkened tree trunks as shadows. I’m also reminded of the burned remains of the Bastrop forest: here and there oaks have sprung back up, so in some places new leaves jostle against blackened trunks, even if there’s never colorful fall foliage. In continuing parallels, you had your fresh prairie grasses to contrast with woody skeletons.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2017 at 8:07 AM



    March 1, 2017 at 11:40 PM

  6. […] October 23rd of 2016, after I photographed red leaves among black trunks and leafless aspen trees and some other things, we drove back down Kolob Terrace Road to the town […]

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