Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Four-nerve daisy portrait 2

with 28 comments

Here’s a portrait of a four-nerve daisy, Tetraneuris linearifolia, that I made by getting on the ground at the West Pickle Campus in north Austin on March 18 and aiming up into a gray-white sky, which I normally hate to do. The low light would allow only a shallow depth of field; I chose to focus on the fuzzy green center of the flower head, knowing that little else would come out in focus.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2020 at 4:30 PM

28 Responses

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  1. Absolutely beautiful. Stunning.

    Michael Scandling

    March 30, 2020 at 4:43 PM

  2. A very interesting perspective, Steve. I like it. How tall are these flowers? I’m curious how much working room you had.

    Todd Henson

    March 30, 2020 at 6:07 PM

    • One of my field guides says the flower stalk can be up to 8 inches long, but I think I’ve seen a little taller than that. In any case, it’s not much room to work in, which is why I get the camera as low to the ground as I can when taking pictures like this one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2020 at 8:24 PM

  3. Your determination paid off, it looks great and sunshiny against the blank background

    Robert Parker

    March 30, 2020 at 6:21 PM

    • I’ve used plenty of black backgrounds to isolate a subject. An almost pure white one here was the novelty. I also like the combination of white and yellow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2020 at 8:52 PM

  4. Lovely, the background suits the flower and gives an unusual look.


    March 30, 2020 at 7:15 PM

  5. I especially like the shadows formed by the overlapping petals, and the way the rays stand out. On the other hand, the stem seems to fade away into nothingness near the bottom of the image. It’s a neat effect.


    March 30, 2020 at 9:40 PM

    • The vanishing stalk was part of what I liked about this portrait. In the final episode of the four-nerve daisy miniseries you’ll see two stems that pull even more of a disappearing act than this one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 30, 2020 at 9:46 PM

  6. “Tender” was the word that came to mind for me. I like the focus on the green center.


    March 31, 2020 at 7:42 AM

    • The green part of the flower head is downy, and that may well be what made you think of the word “tender.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 31, 2020 at 11:30 AM

  7. How clever to use the gray sky as the background for your daisy! My first impression was that you lifted the flower through photo editing off its original background, which I sometimes do when I find it unsatisfactory. Great capture, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    March 31, 2020 at 9:20 AM

    • Yes, people do sometimes cut something out of a picture when processing it. Generally the only time I do something like that is when I have two similar photographs with some details sharper in one and other details sharper in the other. Then I copy sharper pieces from one of the images and paste them over their blurrier counterparts in the other.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 31, 2020 at 1:19 PM

  8. Beautifully composed. I thought at first you’d made an herbarium specimen.


    March 31, 2020 at 9:53 AM

    • Sometimes I have to watch out to keep from becoming an herbarium specimen myself. (WordPress doesn’t like an herbarium specimen but I’m fine with it.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 31, 2020 at 2:15 PM

      • Yes, I debated but decided it sounded better that way. For heaven’s sake, don’t let yourself get pressed! 🙂


        April 2, 2020 at 12:30 PM

  9. Wonderful portrait – grounding yourself paid off!!


    March 31, 2020 at 11:31 AM

  10. Nicely done, Steve. I like seeing the underside/backside of flowers and this is a fine example of that. All those hairs are finely detailed and the color well saturated but not overly so. Lovely portrait.

    Steve Gingold

    March 31, 2020 at 2:50 PM

    • Thanks. You’re in a good position (metaphorically if not literally) to appreciate what went into this. I often like shooting from behind/below. It’s a view that many people never see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 31, 2020 at 2:55 PM

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