Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 31 comments

Before stopping at Bayside Park on August 10 we’d visited the Estuarium on Dauphin Island. The cleverly named Estuarium, on the model of aquarium, highlights the ecosystems in the Mobile Bay estuary. Most prominent among its exhibits are those dealing with animals, many of which are living. Take, for example, this diamondback terrapin turtle, Malaclemys terrapin pileata.

Photo talk: even at ISO 1600 the low light forced my macro lens to open up to its maximum aperture of f/2.8, so I focused on the turtle’s eye in order to get the most important feature sharp, knowing that only a small nearby area would likewise come into focus. For this picture I also composed at an unusual angle. In fact the turtle was positioned horizontally, but as I’ve asked before: what’s reality, anyway?

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2019 at 4:51 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

31 Responses

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  1. Great shot with the light highlighting the face of this beautiful terrapin.

    Steve Gingold

    September 11, 2019 at 5:23 AM

    • The result pleased me, all the more because I was shooting through glass. I thought of cropping closer on the left but the curve of the reddish wood appeals to me so I left it in.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 11, 2019 at 7:33 AM

  2. Beautiful shot!


    September 11, 2019 at 7:25 AM

    • I’ve taken only a few pictures of turtles over the years, so I’m glad to have added another encounter.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 11, 2019 at 7:40 AM

  3. Perfect composition!


    September 11, 2019 at 7:46 AM

  4. NEAT! I will add this to the places I must get to. What a handsome turtle.


    September 11, 2019 at 7:48 AM

  5. The focus on the eye of the turtle made your photo stand out as a master shot. Great shot, Steve!.

    Peter Klopp

    September 11, 2019 at 8:22 AM

    • Speaking of the eye, I’ve wondered how I looked to the turtle.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 11, 2019 at 8:59 AM

      • Most likely thinking your camera lens is your extended eye.

        Peter Klopp

        September 11, 2019 at 10:03 AM

        • That sounds plausible. However I looked to the turtle, it stayed still and apparently didn’t feel annoyed or threatened by my presence.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 11, 2019 at 10:07 AM

  6. That is a very beautiful turtle portrait, Steve!

    Lavinia Ross

    September 11, 2019 at 8:33 AM

    • Thanks, Lavinia. Your name reminds me that on the previous day we’d driven through Lavonia, Georgia.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 11, 2019 at 9:05 AM

  7. Excellent!


    September 11, 2019 at 9:01 AM

  8. Intriguing composition, great depth of field, harmonious colors, I call that a trifecta.

    Michael Scandling

    September 11, 2019 at 10:33 AM

    • Had I known what you’d say, I could’ve given this post the catchy and unique title “Trifecta at the Estuarium.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 11, 2019 at 11:02 AM

  9. Whatever you did made for a beautiful photo!!


    September 11, 2019 at 5:38 PM

    • In this case it wasn’t that hard. Sometimes I have to go through a lot to get a good picture.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 11, 2019 at 8:32 PM

  10. “Estuarium” is a wonderful concept. I could only find two examples in this country: this one, and one in North Carolina. I did find some short articles about them on Wikipedia, written in Afrikaans, which led me to wonder if the word’s been introduced from elsewhere.

    This little guy is so handsome. I suppose it’s a combination of the light and the water that led to the greens and blues in the photo; it’s almost like seeing an undersea creature. You did a great job of focusing on his head and eye, although he does look a bit like he’d been wakened from a nap.


    September 11, 2019 at 9:29 PM

  11. (S)he looks so content. This is a perfect portrait.


    September 12, 2019 at 7:55 AM

  12. Aw, I love turtles… they are always a special find! I love your focus on the head/eye – it is perfect.


    September 14, 2019 at 9:49 AM

    • Given the circumstances, focusing on the eye and nearby parts of the head was the only thing I could do from this position. It turned out well, all things considered.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 14, 2019 at 10:51 AM

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