Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Velvet gaura backlit

with 15 comments

Velvet gaura (Oenothera curtiflora) is indeed velvety, and never is that more noticeable than when the plant is backlit by a sun not far above the horizon. So stood the sun and even lower stood I at 7:16 in the morning on September 3rd. The location was the Blackland Prairie just east of Lake Pflugerville.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 16, 2019 at 4:45 AM

15 Responses

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  1. And a bug, too.


    September 16, 2019 at 8:07 AM

    • You may or may not be surprised to hear that I didn’t notice the bug until I processed the images, so focused [oh, the pun] had I been on maximizing the backlighting at the time I took the pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2019 at 9:57 AM

      • I suspected as much. Insects are often a happy surprise for me too.


        September 17, 2019 at 9:13 AM

  2. A simple plant often overlooked by most people turns into a piece of art in this early morning light. Well done, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    September 16, 2019 at 9:10 AM

    • And when not overlooked, scorned by some with the name velvetweed. I moved around among several plants looking for the best backlighting to emphasize all those downy hairs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2019 at 10:04 AM

  3. Photo design par excellence.

    Michael Scandling

    September 16, 2019 at 10:13 AM

  4. This is quite a different view from my “surf’s up” photo of the velvet gaura’s curvaceous bloom stalk. It’s interesting how many plants — even grasses — are fuzzier than I’ve realized. What really makes this one special is the translucent quality of the leaves. There’s just enough color to add richness to the image.


    September 17, 2019 at 3:55 PM

    • You can call it two for the price of one: the same backlighting that delineates the soft hairs on the stems transluces the leaves. And yes, as interesting as we’ve both found the curving flower stalks of this species, other parts of the plant cast their photographic spell as well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 17, 2019 at 9:27 PM

  5. The backlight is really emphasizing all the fine hairs and leaf venation. Great shot, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    September 18, 2019 at 1:33 AM

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