Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Coreopsis flower head with a graceful extra stem

with 21 comments

The closer of the two stems shown here continued up to a higher Coreopsis flower head that I excluded from the picture to concentrate on the interaction between the foremost ray on the lower flower head and the curving stalk that grazed it. At f/3.5, not much was in focus in this portrait from northwest Austin on July 13th.

A related saying: “Flowers leave part of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them.” This appeared in the Los Angeles Times on July 23, 1944.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 2, 2020 at 4:34 AM

21 Responses

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  1. The coreopsis in the background suggests a butterfly coming in to land on the foreground stem. I especially like the way both the vertical stem and the horizontal petals are curved.


    August 2, 2020 at 8:40 AM

    • You’re right that this is a study in curves. The stalk in front is obvious, yet even the other stalk curves slightly as it widens into its flower head. I hadn’t considered a butterfly; I can imagine one now.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 2, 2020 at 8:48 AM

  2. Very effective very-selective focus. And I like that quiet quote quite a lot.


    August 3, 2020 at 4:18 AM

    • You were reflective about the effective selective focus.

      Surprisingly, given such different semantics, quiet and quite are doublets, which is to say that they are etymologically the same word.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2020 at 7:33 AM

  3. Both graceful and soooooo beautiful. Such a beautiful image. 🙂

    marina kanavaki

    August 3, 2020 at 6:24 AM

  4. The photo is an apt allegory of a world out of focus.


    August 3, 2020 at 1:51 PM

    • Did you know that the Latin word focus meant ‘fireplace, hearth’? In post-Classical times it came to mean ‘fire’ itself, hence French feu and Spanish fuego. The optical sense of focus dates back to around 1600, when scientists “repurposed” the Latin original, as they did with so many other Latin words.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2020 at 3:41 PM

  5. Pure poetry – I like this very, very much.


    August 17, 2020 at 12:19 PM

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