Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Not strictly a nature picture

with 48 comments

Here’s an abstract and not-strictly-nature picture I made showing algae, curtaining water,
and mineral deposits on a low dam at Berry Springs Park in Georgetown on January 31st.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 18, 2021 at 4:32 AM

48 Responses

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  1. such an interesting shot


    February 18, 2021 at 4:54 AM

  2. To my eyes it’s beautiful. Why is it NOT nature?


    February 18, 2021 at 5:06 AM

  3. Nice abstract shot.


    February 18, 2021 at 5:16 AM

  4. Very cool

    Alessandra Chaves

    February 18, 2021 at 8:10 AM

  5. Lovely shot–so nice to see color and vibrancy in this currently monochrome world.


    February 18, 2021 at 8:29 AM

    • And yet that currently monochrome world has been offering a slew of possibilities that a nature photographer doesn’t often get in our normally mild winters. Stay tuned for some of those photographic fruits, provided the power doesn’t stay off for long periods.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2021 at 8:36 AM

      • I know the monochrome situation has its beauty, I’m just whining a bit. Carry on–I look forward to your photos, stay warm!!


        February 18, 2021 at 8:50 AM

        • We’ve mostly had power since last night so the house has re-heated. I may go back out into nature today.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 18, 2021 at 8:59 AM

  6. Strictly or not, in my eyes it is a wonderful nature picture.

    Peter Klopp

    February 18, 2021 at 8:41 AM

  7. A celebration of textures — lovely photo, Steve.

    Jet Eliot

    February 18, 2021 at 9:10 AM

  8. Wonderful! I love that. The colors and textures!


    February 18, 2021 at 9:54 AM

  9. That is a nice abstract. The algal colors and stonework complement each other nicely.

    Lavinia Ross

    February 18, 2021 at 10:45 AM

  10. Excellent photo. And I hope you’re doing ok what with the power outages we’ve heard about in Texas.


    February 18, 2021 at 11:16 AM

    • We’ve had power back since last night. Before that it was rough going, with power coming and going—mostly going. We had a spell of 33 hours without electricity and heat, then another spell of 19 hours, all while the outside temperature never rose above freezing and the lows were 8° and 9° on consecutive mornings.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2021 at 2:40 PM

      • What an ordeal! I’m glad to hear the power’s back now. A few years ago we had no power for close to a week in late December after an ice storm. Different parts of Toronto had varying lengths of power outages. Quite the experience, isn’t it? However, when cold weather is not the norm, it must be doubly shocking. I hope you stay well.


        February 18, 2021 at 3:08 PM

        • Definitely an ordeal. The fact that you had a similar experience in Toronto goes to show that even places accustomed to winter aren’t exempt. As you said, though, it’s harder on people down here, where we’re less prepared for it. I took advantage of the unaccustomed snow and ice to go out into nature and take a slew of pictures.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 18, 2021 at 3:41 PM

  11. Well, it looks like a nature picture to me. 🙂 I hope you’re doing OK, Steve. I read your comments above and see that your power is back on – I hope it stays that way. Take care on the roads!


    February 18, 2021 at 5:28 PM

    • With some leeway I could consider this a nature picture, too.
      Thanks for your good wishes. Our street is on a slope and is still iced over, so I wouldn’t attempt to drive yet. Temperatures are predicted to finally stay above freezing by Saturday. In the meantime I’ve carefully walked the half mile to Great Hills Park twice to photograph the snow and ice.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2021 at 5:42 PM

  12. For a brief second, this shot made me think of the moss wall at Fern Canyon in Northern California. I like the abstract look of this – you can make it anything you want! 🙂

    M.B. Henry

    February 18, 2021 at 6:07 PM

    • Well said. That’s the virtue of it, indeed; it’s abstract enough for your imagination to take flight.

      I looked up Fern Canyon, which I’d never heard of, to see the similarity you suggested. I’d be happy to take pictures there someday. I’m glad you mentioned it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2021 at 6:32 PM

      • I have a few pictures from there, but it was near sunset when we went and the lighting wasn’t the best. I probably won’t get a chance to go back either, since we’re moving to Indiana in a few weeks! But I highly recommend it, it’s a bit hard to get to (we actually had to drive through a stream. Not over it – through it) but it’s well worth the effort

        M.B. Henry

        February 18, 2021 at 6:40 PM

        • I appreciate your recommendation.
          What prompted the move to Indiana, and what part of Indiana is it?

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 18, 2021 at 7:52 PM

          • My husband’s family is from there, and mine is quite close by. Plus the housing is a lot more affordable there. 🙂 We will be in Valpo – just about an hour outside Chicago.

            M.B. Henry

            February 19, 2021 at 11:58 AM

            • As soon as I saw the name Valpo, which I’ve never heard of, I thought to myself that it’s similar to Valparaiso, and I see now that it’s a nickname for it. I also found the town is due south of Indiana Dunes State Park and National Park, both of which we happily visited in 2016:
              I expect you’ll be spending time there too.

              Steve Schwartzman

              February 19, 2021 at 12:59 PM

              • Yes Valparaiso! Hahaha I always forget that not everyone might recognize the name Valpo! Already a resident in my mind I guess. I went to Indiana Dunes once before when I was in high school and I cannot WAIT to spend more time there 🙂 That lovely photo of the creek is a nice appetizer for it! 🙂

                M.B. Henry

                February 19, 2021 at 4:39 PM

  13. Cool abstract shot, Steve!

    Eliza Waters

    February 18, 2021 at 7:18 PM

    • As soon as I saw this I realized the potential for abstractions and tried out a bunch of compositions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2021 at 7:53 PM

  14. Looks completely natural – can’t see that darn dam. The patterns are beautiful.


    February 18, 2021 at 8:07 PM

    • It seems that if you don’t know it’s a concrete dam you’re not likely to imagine that’s what it is. I, however, knowing it’s a dam, couldn’t escape the reality that the setting isn’t completely natural, and I felt I needed to point that out. Either way, the abstract patterns are worthy, as you said.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 18, 2021 at 8:13 PM

      • Those warm tones (yellow, brown) don’t look like concrete (gray). But I understand your need to divulge what you could see at the scene. Hope you’re OK, the Texas situation doesn’t look good.


        February 18, 2021 at 10:52 PM

        • The weather-caused problems here have been stressful, no question about it. We hope we’re past the worst, with the temperatures on Saturday predicted to finally get and stay above freezing. At least I’ve been able to get the kinds of wintry photos not normally available in Austin.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 19, 2021 at 5:53 AM

  15. The waterline at the bottom gives us a hint at the subject for this abstract.


    February 19, 2021 at 10:22 AM

  16. The dam may not be natural but everything else is so it works for me. Nature taking control of what humans have built. Nice color palette.

    Steve Gingold

    February 22, 2021 at 3:43 AM

    • And, to use your phrase, me taking control (photographically) of what nature had taken control of.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2021 at 6:30 AM

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