Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

I like clarity and contrast in my photographs.

with 22 comments

Yes, I usually do like clarity and contrast in my photographs. If what’s in front of me doesn’t lend itself to those qualities, then I go with the toned-down reality that’s available. Here from September 8th along Highway 93 in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park are two takes—one horizontal, the other vertical—on a formerly burned forest hazily visible through the smoke of the latest fires in the area. Subtlety can be special, too.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 4, 2017 at 5:01 AM

22 Responses

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  1. The first photo is like a voile curtain dimming the view of what’s outside the window.


    November 4, 2017 at 5:07 AM

    • You get a prize for being the first person ever to use voile here. We might say you’ve lifted the veil on that word.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 4, 2017 at 7:11 AM

      • Goodness. I am now wondering if voile is a very old fashioned word.


        November 4, 2017 at 7:24 AM

        • It seems not to be, as it’s in many dictionaries:


          Merriam-Webster dates it back in English only to 1889. I also see that in English it’s pronounced to rhyme with foil. That foiled me because I first learned the word decades ago in French, where it’s pronounced vwahl.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 4, 2017 at 7:42 AM

          • Ah, I am glad you found the way we pronounce voile. I wanted to explain that to you but my brain couldn’t think of how to do that at 3 am.


            November 4, 2017 at 5:49 PM

  2. for documentary photographs, certainly


    November 4, 2017 at 5:19 AM

    • A peripheral issue: with the advent of digital photography and the manipulation made possible with computer programs like Photoshop, we can no longer be sure that what appears so clearly in a photograph was really the way it looks.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 4, 2017 at 7:29 AM

  3. In the second photo, the way the branches are arrayed around the trunk of the foreground tree seem to create a sense of movement.There’s an upper limb that looks like an arm, and the bottom leaves could be twirling skirts. To paraphrase the wonderful lines in Coleridge’s Christabel, the tree seems to be
    “the one stripped trunk, the last of its clan, that dances as often as dance it can.”


    November 4, 2017 at 6:47 AM

    • In contrast to these photographs, someone’s pareidolia is not at all dulled this morning. I haven’t read Christabel but I see that “the one red leaf” of the original lends itself to your one-syllable replacement that’s just as related to trees. Any dancing that I did was metaphorical, out of gladness to find such compelling scenes for pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 4, 2017 at 8:00 AM

  4. Lovely subtle hues.

    Sherry Felix

    November 4, 2017 at 7:41 AM

  5. Wonderful images….makes me want to stand there and gaze at these places in person.

    Birder's Journey

    November 5, 2017 at 2:46 PM

  6. I’m way late getting here, but well, I got here. 😉 And I love both of these. I was on the WA side of that area this summer, and saw some of the smoke and acres of burned forest. We lived with the smoke all the way over here, too, for a while. Not fun, but a great photographic subject if you know what to do, and you do.


    November 7, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    • Thanks, Lynn. From what I gathered, that smoke covered a large area. We first encountered it just a few days after landing in Calgary. Fortunately we first drove south to see Waterton Lakes and Glacier National Parks. Not long after we returned to Calgary, forest forest fires forced the total or partial closure of both parks. Then smoky haze followed us into the Canadian Rockies. I hope you got some dreamy pictures of the haze in Washington.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 7, 2017 at 1:58 PM

      • That’s a cautionary tale for anyone visiting – I’m glad you made it in before the fires shut things down.


        November 12, 2017 at 3:50 PM

        • Yes, we were fortunate in our choice to head south early in the trip. The main caution I’d advise is to avoid visiting the region at the height of the tourist season.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 12, 2017 at 8:13 PM

  7. […] upper right you see some of the smoky haze that stayed with us for most of our trip (and that was thicker along the highway we took to get to Marble […]

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