Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Palmetto leaf arcs

with 30 comments


I wouldn’t do justice to Palmetto State Park, which we visited on January 29th, without showing you at least one close view of designs in the leaf of a palmetto, Sabal minor.

And here’s a quotation for today from Schiller’s 1801 play Die Jungfrau von Orleans, which is to say The Maiden from Orleans (meaning Joan of Arc):

Unsinn, du siegst und ich muß untergehn!
Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.

The original doesn’t rhyme but I ended up making a loose modern-day translation that happens to rhyme:

Madness, you’ve won the day and I’ve got to give in!
Against stupidity the gods themselves can’t win.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 10, 2021 at 4:38 AM

30 Responses

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  1. I like the composition, especially the use of the shadow.

    Ann Mackay

    February 10, 2021 at 5:25 AM

    • When I noticed these arcs I knew I had the makings of an abstract leaf portrait. I ended up doing 11 variations, of which this was the final one.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2021 at 5:30 AM

  2. For the very briefest moment as I opened the image, I thought I was looking at an example of Art Deco architecture. I can’t find the words to tell how much I like this one. It’s certainly time to pull out ‘unique’ as a descriptor. What a photo.


    February 10, 2021 at 6:50 AM

    • Thanks. I do see how the arcs would make Art Deco cross your mind even as they cross this image. I don’t remember noticing palmetto arcs before, so I happily went about recording them. In fact it had somehow never occurred to me over the years I’ve seen palmettos that each leaf is compound, even though that seems obvious now. It’s the separation of the leaflet tips that allowed for these arcs to form.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2021 at 7:09 AM

  3. I love the geometric patterns created by the palmetto leaves. Ein Wunderwerk der Natur!

    Peter Klopp

    February 10, 2021 at 8:11 AM

    • Hail, geometry, patron of pattern!
      Wonderwork works as well in English as Wunderwerk werkt auf deustsch.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2021 at 10:04 AM

  4. Wow–that’s such a gorgeous shot! Palmetto foliage is so cooperative that way, mixing light and dark, linear and curves and you captured all of that beautifully!


    February 10, 2021 at 8:42 AM

    • Merci. This little group of leaves was a great opportunity to record the mix of light and dark, curved and straight, that you pointed out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2021 at 10:05 AM

  5. Interesting composition and timeless quote!

    Alessandra Chaves

    February 10, 2021 at 10:34 AM

    • If I’d known Schiller’s lines before a couple of weeks ago, they’d probably have come to mind many times in the past year.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2021 at 10:49 AM

  6. That is a beautiful leafy composition. Green and inviting. 🙂

    Lavinia Ross

    February 10, 2021 at 10:36 AM

  7. Great quote! That image is quite the eye-catcher. So many layers to love!


    February 10, 2021 at 10:50 AM

    • I just answered a previous commenter by saying that if I’d known Schiller’s lines before a couple of weeks ago, they’d probably have come to mind many times in the past year. As for the portrait, yes, all those lines and curves certainly caught my eye.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2021 at 11:00 AM

  8. I love this abstract.


    February 10, 2021 at 11:14 AM

    • Thanks. It was a good find. I was glad we made our first visit to Palmetto State Park in years.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2021 at 11:22 AM

  9. Caught in the act
    With a fine abstract
    Beautifully packed
    With artistic tact,
    To be exact,
    And that’s a fact


    February 10, 2021 at 3:24 PM

  10. Wow! Great photo. Great quote.


    February 10, 2021 at 4:09 PM

    • It’s my first contact with Schiller, and an especially relevant quotation two centuries later.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 10, 2021 at 5:33 PM

  11. Fabulous shot, Steve – very nice!

    Eliza Waters

    February 10, 2021 at 7:36 PM

  12. I like the textures and patterns


    February 10, 2021 at 8:56 PM

  13. This is super, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    February 11, 2021 at 5:12 AM

  14. Elegant green composition, Steve!

    Ellen Jennings

    February 11, 2021 at 10:45 AM

  15. Nicely seen and composed!


    February 19, 2021 at 10:55 AM

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