Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bull Creek reflections

with 19 comments

There are times when a reflection of something is more interesting artistically than the thing seen directly. When I wandered in Bull Creek Regional Park on the morning of August 26th I felt that way about what you see in the first photograph. Not far away, the edge of a flat, irregularly shaped rock also got reflected in the creek; I find that the reflection in the second view plays an important role in the picture’s attractiveness.

Below, the reflected limestone strata add to the allure of the strata themselves.

Here’s a much-quoted statement by Sherlock Holmes, which is to say by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, from “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet”: “It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” In the 2014 book How Not to Be Wrong, mathematician Jordan Ellenberg amended the statement by adding some extra words to make it more accurate: “It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth, unless the truth is a hypothesis it didn’t occur to you to consider.”

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 15, 2020 at 4:44 AM

19 Responses

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  1. Reflections are also for me a great attraction. At times, I am more fascinated by the reflection than the object itself and I am tempted to leave out entirely the object in my pictures.

    Peter Klopp

    September 15, 2020 at 7:34 AM

    • Welcome to the team. For some time now I’ve been noticing (and photographing) reflections in their own right. When I went out looking for cardinal flowers three days ago, along with many direct pictures I also took some in which the only part of the flowers that appeared was their reflection in the creek. I’ll eventually post a couple of those. That said, most of my reflection photographs include the source of the reflection, as in this post’s other two pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2020 at 8:17 AM

  2. I am often nagged by the thought of a truth I hadn’t yet considered. How well put that is. These photos are wonderful~they inspire reflection.

    melissabluefineart

    September 15, 2020 at 7:52 AM

    • That’s why in our recent conversations about controversial events I recommended withholding judgment until all the facts are in. The true explanation sometimes turns out to be one we wouldn’t have considered. The history of science offers many examples of how an old way of looking at reality had to be jettisoned after a clever person came up with a better explanation (for example: the earth goes around the sun; stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria; the world is built from chemical elements rather than from earth, air, fire, and water).

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2020 at 8:28 AM

    • And yes, it’s worth reflecting on reflections, artistically speaking.

      With respect to my first reply, it suddenly occurred to me that when it comes to thought, reflexive is the opposite of reflective.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2020 at 8:33 AM

      • Indeed.

        melissabluefineart

        September 15, 2020 at 8:34 AM

        • On the photographic side, three years ago I realized I’d shown plenty of photographs that include reflections, so I started adding the reflections tag when appropriate.

          Steve Schwartzman

          September 15, 2020 at 8:44 AM

  3. I wish I could be there!

    Pit

    September 15, 2020 at 9:18 AM

    • Once the pandemic subsides, you can come and visit. I’m fortunate to have Bull Creek as close as a few miles from home, and one of its tributaries just half a mile from our house.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2020 at 10:00 AM

  4. I love the painterly feeling for the top image, and the rock reflection and its isolation are lovely. It feels like a gem or wonderful platform for something beautiful to come perch on it. 😀

    circadianreflections

    September 15, 2020 at 9:49 AM

    • You’ve picked up on the the fact that the slightly shimmering surface of the creek created a painterly feel in the first photograph, and that I went for isolation in the portrait of the rock. During the time I was there, nothing perched on the rock; at other times I imagine birds and insects occasionally do.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 15, 2020 at 10:04 AM

  5. These are so magical! I imagine these images as something Alice in Wonderland would have seen, too. Really love the addition of the Sherlock Holmes as well. Really well done.

    Markus + Micah

    September 16, 2020 at 1:30 AM

    • S. S. says thanks to M. + M. For the past couple of months I’ve been adding (usually unrelated) quotations to most posts. Why not, right?

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2020 at 8:08 AM

  6. […] the same August 26th visit to Bull Creek Regional Park that you saw pictures of last time, I stopped by a limestone overhang where I’d taken pictures in other years. This time I […]

  7. The second photo evokes the ice floes found in colder waters, while the third, with its curving lines, suggests all the empty amphitheaters and concert venues around the world. It’s a great set: shimmery, solid, and sinuous all in a row.

    shoreacres

    September 16, 2020 at 6:00 AM

    • A rock floe to parallel an ice floe: you decided to go with the flow. I also enjoy your “shimmery, solid, and sinuous all in a row.”

      It’s easy to see how empty amphitheaters and the like came to mind; 2020 has been such a strange year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      September 16, 2020 at 1:44 PM


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