Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A young greenbrier

with 22 comments

Walking in the woods in northwest Austin on April 26th I spied a young greenbrier vine (Smilax bona-nox) with an interestingly shaped new leaf at the top. Light filtering through the trees illuminated the leaf and I realized that if I scrunched down behind the vine I might get the translucence that backlighting often produces. So that’s what I did and that’s what you see.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 13, 2020 at 4:19 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , ,

22 Responses

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  1. Beautifully captured for a particularly nice portrait!


    May 13, 2020 at 5:06 AM

    • Thanks for appreciating it. Given the difficulties, I did about 20 takes, both horizontal and vertical, and managed to get a few where the important things all worked okay.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 13, 2020 at 7:50 AM

  2. Nice image! Good thing you didn’t get tangled up in those thorny vines! I notice this year the greenbrier is prolific on our property. Tukker deer should have plenty to feast on!


    May 13, 2020 at 7:12 AM

    • I got the impression that this greenbrier had been munched. Deer are abundant in that wooded part of town. As for tangling with greenbrier vines, I’ve done my share and maybe more.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 13, 2020 at 7:54 AM

  3. Fascinating shot crafted by our photography Rembrandt in Texas!

    Peter Klopp

    May 13, 2020 at 7:30 AM

  4. Your scrunching paid off–that’s a great shot!


    May 13, 2020 at 7:49 AM

  5. Lovely silhouette!


    May 13, 2020 at 10:34 AM

  6. It’s a gem! I love the light and the fine details in the leaf.


    May 13, 2020 at 3:29 PM

  7. I love this image for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that it reminded me of this passage from Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

    “I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them…”


    May 13, 2020 at 7:39 PM

    • A frayed and nibbled survivor it was, and presumably ready to keep on growing. The quoted passage is appropriate.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 13, 2020 at 9:26 PM

  8. Hey! That is the one that I have been trying to identify! I got seed from it in Oklahoma. Fortunately, none of the seed germinated. I did not like it much.


    May 15, 2020 at 8:05 PM

    • People often don’t like greenbrier because its thorns tear at clothing and the skin beneath it. I’ve often enough been snagged. Still, photographically speaking, it offers many possibilities. The new shoots are even edible.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 15, 2020 at 10:01 PM

      • I thought that it was quite unappealing. I got the seeds only because they were there; and I had never seen it before. It really seemed weird though, like something from another planet. I normally do not mind thorns, but these thorns were painful.


        May 16, 2020 at 9:55 PM

  9. I like the lighting in this and especially the bits of thorns with a glint.

    Steve Gingold

    May 18, 2020 at 1:54 PM

    • I felt that the lighting would work well, if only I could get back in there behind the vine, which I managed to do. The glint off the thorns appealed to me, too, once I saw the pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 18, 2020 at 2:30 PM

  10. Gorgeous, Steve.


    May 24, 2020 at 11:34 AM

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