Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

The golden hour

with 15 comments

Landscape photographers talk about the golden hour, the first hour after sunrise or the last before sunset, when the light is soft and warm. The late afternoon of October 31st found us about 110 miles west-southwest of Austin, in Kerrville, where I worked quickly to take advantage of the golden hour’s last rays to photograph bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) along the Guadalupe River. Minutes later the light was gone. For a closer look at the bases of the trees, click the icon below.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 25, 2019 at 4:44 AM

15 Responses

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  1. Beautiful. Since seeing them in their full glory along the Rio Frio, the cypress have been one of my favorite trees; they always look especially nice combined with water. Every time I see them along Cypress Creek in Comfort, or at the Medina River crossings, I think of Longfellow’s “forest primeval.” Cypress aren’t pines or hemlocks, but they do murmur.

    Did you happen to roam up to Enchanted Rock? I’d hoped to get there this fall, but haven’t made Kerrville yet. Soon.


    November 25, 2019 at 5:14 AM

    • I understand why this is one of your favorite trees, especially in the fall when the foliage turns orange-brown. Because bald cypresses thrive along creeks, rivers, and ponds, I’m always surprised when landscapers plant them on properties far from bodies of water. I guess sprinklers and hoses are supposed to do the trick.

      You’ve read my mind (or a map) when it comes to Enchanted Rock. We did indeed spend time there the next day. Posts about it are coming soon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 25, 2019 at 6:16 AM

  2. yes, those are by far the most beautiful times of day and this is a lovely shot


    November 25, 2019 at 7:12 AM

    • Thanks. As propitious as the golden hour is, I’m not out photographing then as often as I probably should be.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 25, 2019 at 7:53 AM

  3. Such neat trees, and beautifully photographed here.


    November 25, 2019 at 9:05 AM

  4. Beautiful. Actually, it’s the base shot (crop?) that grabs me the most. But that’s just me.

    Michael Scandling

    November 25, 2019 at 10:07 AM

    • Thanks. The base shot is a separate, full-frame picture. During the few minutes that the light lasted I tried out various orientations and amounts of zooming. I ended up with 23 pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 25, 2019 at 10:18 AM

  5. Wow, beautiful captured Steve. So ethereal

    Tina Schell

    November 25, 2019 at 11:08 AM

  6. Beautiful fleeting light on the bald cypress. Lovely work. My hour is at the opposite end of the day but both times are equally sweet.

    Steve Gingold

    November 26, 2019 at 5:28 AM

    • Thanks. We’d eaten supper at a restaurant and then followed up on our waiter’s advice by driving down to the river. That’s when I saw the magical light, hurriedly drove back to the hotel for my camera bag, returned to the river, and had just minutes to take my pictures before the magic disappeared.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 26, 2019 at 7:40 AM

      • I hope you left him a nice tip. Right place, right time is often the key. Good for you that it also applied to the moment you were there.

        Steve Gingold

        November 26, 2019 at 4:57 PM

        • As I recall, we did leave him a good tip. Without his suggestion of where to go I don’t know if I’d have ended up there on my own.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 26, 2019 at 9:07 PM

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