Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Like a drawing

with 18 comments

Unlike some of you, I know nothing about drawing. Even so, when I look at this image I get the impression that it’s a pastel drawing and I seem to see the individual strokes that went into it. That’s what photographing a waterfall at 1/6 of a second can do. The dark protrusion was probably a small root or branch of the sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis) over whose large roots the creek dropped to form this little waterfall.

I took this picture and plenty of others on April 21st during the same hike along a tributary of Bull Creek that produced the realistic creekscapes you saw last month. If you’d like a more-conventional, still somewhat abstract, and rather busy view of the small waterfall, click the image below.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 19, 2019 at 4:41 AM

18 Responses

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  1. I too feel it to be painting or some sort of that..it’s a marvelous click…


    May 19, 2019 at 5:32 AM

  2. How interesting! I would never have thought that was a waterfall!


    May 19, 2019 at 8:44 AM

  3. My imagination running wild. It looks like a pinocchio-nosed snow monkey with sheep-dog fur somewhat obscuring its eyes. (Could not find any online-pic that fits my description well.)


    May 19, 2019 at 8:50 AM

    • Wild indeed—but then what’s an imagination for? By coincidence, CBS Sunday morning today focused exclusively on Itay, including a feature about Pinocchio. No sheep dogs, however, put in an appearance.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 19, 2019 at 9:37 AM

  4. Thanks to my Swedish grandmother, I thought immediately of the folkloric trolls, who often are portrayed with exceedingly long noses.

    As I recall, the ‘hidden people,’ known as skogsrå or forest spirits in Swedish folklore, are both male and female. The females are beautiful and often seductive, while the males are wizened and stunted, with those grotesquely long noses. Back in the 1960s (or was it the 1970s?) troll dolls were all the rage, but they were cute little things — not at all like the ones my grandmother described to me so vividly. If Grandma still were around, I’m sure she’d see your image as a forest spirit come to life.


    May 19, 2019 at 11:18 AM

    • American versions of European fairy tales have often been sanitized. The originals are scarier, with more evil and death, a reflection of how life used to be for most people. Thomas Hobbes is often quoted on that score, especially the last words in this passage from Leviathan:

      “Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 19, 2019 at 11:27 AM

  5. This made me smile today ! Interesting picture and beautiful too.


    May 19, 2019 at 1:11 PM

  6. It certainly looks painted. Have been working with a friend on turning photos into drawings or paintings. Still needs the artist’s eye though.


    May 20, 2019 at 4:01 PM

  7. Like Linda mentions above, I saw a long nose, although more Pinocchio than troll. I like the captured motion.

    Steve Gingold

    May 20, 2019 at 6:08 PM

    • The texture in this photograph approximates what I’ve seen in some of your waterfall pictures. You’ve mastered the technique, while I dabble at it occasionally.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 20, 2019 at 6:51 PM

  8. The tree root/stump also looks like a snake-worm, especially the patterns that are a bit snake-like. I wonder how many people see the stump/root first and the water as the secondary item in the image…

    Friends in Colorado have a little envelope to send to you in my behalf.. It traveled ‘piggyback’ via a painting I sent them, which took over six weeks to go from here to there!

    Address details via here in comment or via email to me tzeebra at yahoo.com..

    • I think you’re right that in the first photo most viewers focus on the dark protrusion before paying attention to the hair-like water. Right again that the second picture suggests snakes or worms. I hadn’t really noticed how much till you pointed it out. You’re so perceptive.

      I sent you an e-mail about the surprise envelope. Thanks.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 27, 2019 at 9:11 PM

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