Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rhapsody in Blue at the Palladium Hotel

with 48 comments

At Coron in the Philippine province of Palawan we stayed at the Palladium Hotel,
whose design harkens back to buildings on the Greek island of Santorini.

On December 14th, before we left for the airport to fly back to Cebu City,
I tried out compositions that played off the morning’s wispy clouds against the hotel.
Sometimes elements of the hotel became my primary subjects.

Even bubbling water in the swimming pool made for a blue abstraction.

Just thought I’d give you something different for a change.
Actually I’ve been making pictures like these since decades before my emphasis on nature and native plants.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 11, 2020 at 4:24 AM

48 Responses

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  1. I love all this blue!


    January 11, 2020 at 4:54 AM

  2. Nice to see so much blue on this, a very gray day in New England. The pool shot made for a nice abstract..

    Steve Gingold

    January 11, 2020 at 7:36 AM

    • It’s gray here too, and we finally got some much-needed rain.
      I decided to live dangerously and post some non-nature pictures for a change.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2020 at 7:40 AM

      • I dabble in non-nature occasionally and am glad to see you are also. There is a lot of it around.

        Steve Gingold

        January 11, 2020 at 10:23 AM

        • Yes, when I wrote that second sentence I was thinking about your recent non-nature pictures. I still keep taking pictures like these when the opportunity comes my way, even if that’s not what “Portraits of Wildflowers” is ostensibly devoted to. Wait till you see the departure I’ve planned three posts from now.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 11, 2020 at 10:29 AM

          • Yeah, I sometimes consider dropping the “Nature” from my blog’s title but that’s really what I am mostly about. Gotta wait three days, huh?

            Steve Gingold

            January 11, 2020 at 10:33 AM

            • Actually six, as I’ve been scheduling posts once every two days. This time I decided to keep posts from the trip in chronological order, which I don’t normally do.

              Steve Schwartzman

              January 11, 2020 at 11:03 AM

  3. Fabulous. I wasn’t sure at first if you were shooting down into the water or up into the sky when I looked at the first photo. The next two, with their architectural details, are equally appealing to me. Taken as a whole, the group brought to mind John Singer Sargent’s Capri Girl on a Rooftop. I suspect you might have felt some of the exuberance conveyed by the painting as you roamed around this gorgeous spot.


    January 11, 2020 at 8:22 AM

    • The same exuberance that led to that unclosed tag…


      January 11, 2020 at 8:23 AM

    • I’ll take fabulous, thanks. The first picture looks upward toward a blue dome, as I think you eventually figured out. I see there’s a dome in the John Singer Sargent painting, too, which is at the Crystal Bridges Museum, where you no doubt looked at it in person (I don’t remember it from our two visits there). Yes, I did get exuberant moving around for abstract architectural takes on the hotel and the clouds.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2020 at 10:13 AM

  4. I like all your theme-based photos, Steve. I love the simplicity of the blue vase the most.

    Peter Klopp

    January 11, 2020 at 8:24 AM

    • I’ve been doing a bunch of themed posts these past couple of weeks. I expect to eventually settle back into my tradition of focusing on one or maybe two pictures at a time. For now, I have a bunch of trip pictures and if I keep stringing them out one or two at a time I’ll get way out of synch with the calendar.

      I’m glad you like the blue vase, which I felt made for a good center of attention in that architectural abstraction.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2020 at 10:18 AM

  5. These are beautiful images, Steve, especially the swimming pool abstraction.

    Lavinia Ross

    January 11, 2020 at 9:05 AM

    • I didn’t know how many viewers would appreciate the swimming pool abstraction. You and two other commenters have mentioned it, so I’m glad I added it after all the other pictures were already in place.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2020 at 10:19 AM

  6. I love the clouds, and that blue vase. Blue and white are one of my top 3 color combinations.


    January 11, 2020 at 9:37 AM

    • It’s not a color combination that occurs much in plant and animal pictures, other than when aiming up toward clouds or down toward water. Today’s post, which departs from my traditional themes, gave me the opportunity to play up that combination.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2020 at 10:25 AM

  7. Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin just became public domain as the copyright finally expired. I thought that you might be referencing that.

    Jason Frels

    January 11, 2020 at 10:37 AM

  8. Vibrant blues, Steve. All well seen and composed. Great set.

    Jane Lurie

    January 11, 2020 at 1:43 PM

  9. Wonderful compositions of my favourite colour and nice to see something different from you 😁


    January 11, 2020 at 2:03 PM

    • “Portraits of Wildflowers” is ostensibly dedicated to plants. From the beginning I extended that to nature in general. I’ve been reluctant to go farther afield more than every once in a while, lest it turn off people who come here for nature—as for example when I occasionally make a few mathematical observations. There’s no way to be all things to all people, but I do enjoy the occasional departure to other interests of mine.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 11, 2020 at 6:48 PM

  10. Beautiful shots, Steve. Well done.


    January 11, 2020 at 4:53 PM

  11. I, for one, I’m in favor of the variety. The swimming pool abstraction is what pulled me in. Your unique view of the architecture kept me here. Bravo!

    Michael Scandling

    January 12, 2020 at 11:31 AM

    • Thanks for confirming your approval of these abstractions, which is what I figured your reaction would be. My sticking point has been that in a blog devoted to nature photography I haven’t felt I can do more than an occasional departure from that theme without alienating people. On the other hand, no one has seemed to mind a post like this one, so maybe I’ll increase the frequency a little. We’ll see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 12, 2020 at 2:13 PM

  12. I love these, Steve. Such great abstracts and handsome compositions. The last image has a threatening feeling to it – well done!


    January 15, 2020 at 11:54 AM

    • You can imagine that I was pretty happy with these abstractions. The last is one of my favorites. I see how the wooden elements in the fence could come across as pikes and therefore seem threatening. In another picture of the fence that I took, two small birds are perched on it; had I shown that view, the birds might have lessened or eliminated your sense of a threat.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2020 at 2:59 PM

  13. Great blue shots!


    January 16, 2020 at 12:49 PM

  14. The blue color is amazing and the compositions are inspiring.

    Mark Walton

    January 18, 2020 at 9:18 AM

    • A double thanks, Mark. I showed a couple of pictures more than these at the meeting the other night.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2020 at 10:21 AM

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