Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

After the rain

with 8 comments

After the rain started on the afternoon of June 6th at Garden of the Gods, we went and looked at the exhibits inside the visitor center, then drove northeast to the other side of Colorado Springs so we could check into our hotel. A couple of hours later, when the sky seemed to have cleared up somewhat in the west, I called the visitor center and was told that the sun had indeed broken through over there. We drove the 8 miles back to Garden of the Gods and took advantage of the remaining late-afternoon light. You won’t be surprised to hear that for me that usually means taking more pictures. Other visitors had the same idea, as you can see in the photograph above. (I may cast a long shadow as a nature photographer—oh, the conceit—but my shadow isn’t among the ones included here.)

The remaining daylight gradually dwindled, so I staked out a place and waited to see if we got a good sunset. Slowly some colors crept into the early evening sky. The photograph below gives you an idea of the peak colors we saw.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 9, 2017 at 5:02 AM

8 Responses

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  1. I love the stories in the shadows: one with a camera, one with binoculars, one with what appears to be a walking stick, and one just sitting. The contrast between the ephemeral shadows and the solid rock is just as thought-provoking. Shadows come and shadows go, but the rock goes on: if not forever, at least a good bit longer.

    It’s interesting that the same sort of effect appears in the second photo. The pearly-pink, ephemeral clouds seem sandwiched between those layers of solid black.


    July 9, 2017 at 7:52 AM

    • As I recall, all or most of the people were part of a Chinese tour group. They complicated my task as a nature photographer but in this picture I decided to make the best of it by including them, at least in shadows. The people were on the rocks behind me and higher up, and because of my lower position I didn’t cast a shadow on the illuminated rock that bears the shadows.

      While we ended up seeing better sunsets than this one on the trip, I still found it good enough to take lots of pictures, with and without the ground, horizontally and vertically, as the light kept changing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2017 at 10:31 AM

  2. Anyone with a curious mind and an active imagination would have fun studying the first image! The finale might not have been a sunset bursting with colors, but it was a soft and comforting way to wean into the evening!

    • Maybe you could create drawings or paintings showing the people you imagine the shadows represent.

      Your second sentence gives my reaction as well: although the sunset wasn’t stupendous, I enjoyed its pastel pinks and blues and had a satisfying time recording what I saw as the light slowly changed. In fact when I looked at my archive just now I saw that I took a good hundred pictures. Color me obsessed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 9, 2017 at 11:12 AM

  3. Hey Steve .. love these images, they are both special 🙂


    July 13, 2017 at 2:38 PM

    • I’ve loosened up a little—but only just a little—when it comes to showing human elements like those shadows, which were good for a smile. Glad you liked both pictures. In the weeks ahead I’ll probably show one or two more sunsets from the trip.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 13, 2017 at 4:21 PM

      • Funny isn’t it what we feel comfortable or not shooting …


        July 14, 2017 at 2:23 AM

        • I’ve always taken pictures of people and the things that people create. It’s just that the purpose of this blog is to reveal nature, so I’ve normally kept the human elements out.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 14, 2017 at 5:50 AM

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