Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A foggy morning

with 33 comments

The morning of February 27th came up unusually foggy, so in quest of portraits in the fog I headed over to the Riata Trace Pond, where I’d been able to get pictures of that kind two years earlier. The bird in the top image is a white egret (Ardea alba). The tan plants reflected in the pond in the second photograph are dry cattails, Typha domingensis, some of them battered down by the ice and snow two weeks earlier. (Speaking of which, more wintry pictures are forthcoming; let today’s post serve as a little diversion from the cold.)

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 4, 2021 at 4:39 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , , , ,

33 Responses

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  1. Both very nice, ethereal, and peaceful.

    Steve Gingold

    March 4, 2021 at 5:23 AM

  2. Beautiful photos x


    March 4, 2021 at 6:10 AM

  3. Lucky you! I love the fog! We had so little of it this winter! The bird photo turned out really cool.

    Alessandra Chaves

    March 4, 2021 at 7:50 AM

    • Fog isn’t common here, either, so when it looks likely, or actually occurs, I go out and try to take advantage of it. As for the egret, it was on the far side of the pond, where even with my telephoto lens zoomed to 400mm the bird still looked small. As a result, there was no possibility of what could be called a portrait, so I used the bird as a focal point to draw the viewer’s eye in the much larger foggy landscape.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2021 at 8:30 AM

  4. The image of the egret is simply (pun intended) amazing. I was so focused on the white of the bird that it took awhile to find the trees, yet it was those faint lines that kept drawing my eyes back to the egret. One of your finest images. Love it.


    March 4, 2021 at 8:12 AM

    • Thanks. What I just wrote in my reply to the previous comment accords with your take on the picture. As the egret was too far away for a portrait per se, I used it as a focal point in the larger landscape, with the tree branches and their reflection conveniently also tapering toward the bird.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2021 at 8:40 AM

  5. Wow! Talking about minimalistic photography! Great job, Steve!
    By the way, I discovered that gravatar used a defunct email address which I corrected. Perhaps that will solve the problem.

    Peter Klopp

    March 4, 2021 at 8:40 AM

    • I appreciate your enthusiasm. Where my minimalism often comes from showing only a small number of objects, here it derives, especially in the first photograph, from the narrow range of tonalities that the fog allowed to come through.

      The different e-mail address doesn’t seem to be the cause of the problem, because when I click on your name now I still get taken to your Gravatar rather than your blog. I seem to remember that somewhere among the many sections of the WordPress dashboard there’s a place where you can set the target that clicking on your name will take a person to. You may want to pore through all your dashboard sections and see if you can find that.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2021 at 8:52 AM

  6. Those are beautiful and interesting compositions, Steve. It took my eyes a minute to adapt to the first one. I enjoyed these very much.

    Lavinia Ross

    March 4, 2021 at 9:59 AM

  7. There’s a very peaceful but mysterious feel to these images – like the viewer has crept into somewhere silent and unknown…

    Ann Mackay

    March 4, 2021 at 11:25 AM

    • Hooray for mystery. Maybe you also hear a certain song playing when you look at them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2021 at 3:32 PM

      • Very appropriate!

        Ann Mackay

        March 5, 2021 at 5:40 AM

        • Just swap out mysterious for easy, or the other way.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 5, 2021 at 5:46 AM

          • Now I have an earworm, LOL!

            Ann Mackay

            March 5, 2021 at 6:12 AM

            • You got me to wondering how long the term earworm has been in use. I found that in the literal sense of ‘a kind of moth whose larvae ruin ears of corn’ the word dates to 1802. I couldn’t find a date for the earliest known use of the musical meaning, but the American Heritage Dictionary says the English use of the word that way was a translation of German Ohrwurm, which originally meant ‘earwig’:

              Steve Schwartzman

              March 5, 2021 at 6:22 AM

              • Ah well, better to have an earworm rather than an earwig!!

                Ann Mackay

                March 5, 2021 at 9:27 AM

                • Or any other kind of wig, although being a bigwig might bring some unaccustomed advantages.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  March 5, 2021 at 11:06 AM

  8. I love a foggy day (good thing, living next to Lake Michigan) and these shots show why.

    Robert Parker

    March 4, 2021 at 11:40 AM

  9. I could see myself fishing in that early morning fog. It’s the perfect time to use a top-water bait! I love the reflections of the trees and grasses in the water. The fog really causes a person to look deeper into the landscape.


    March 4, 2021 at 9:26 PM

    • I did go fishing—but only for pictures. What bait there was was the fog, and it caught me. If only it came more often, I’d be happy to do the deep looking you mentioned.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2021 at 9:44 PM

  10. Fog is very rare here and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen any to speak of. Yours are a real treat.


    March 5, 2021 at 12:32 AM

  11. It’s a beautiful image: doubly so, as you caught the reflection of the egret as well as the bird itself. Given the fog, it’s even more remarkable, and I love the way the trees emerge from the fog slowly, even in the photo.

    I thought of you yesterday when I saw another species of fog rolling in over Galveston Bay: sea fog. It was beautiful, especially as it was coming in as strands rather than as a single bank. If it hadn’t been a working day, I would have gone down to Texas City and photographed the old lighthouse there surrounded by fog tendrils, but I haven’t worked out omnipresence yet.


    March 5, 2021 at 7:21 AM

    • What? No omnipresence? Oh well, we’re all laggards in that department. Many’s the April and May I’ve lamented not being able to be everywhere at once for wildflower pictures.

      Normally I wouldn’t show a picture of a bird as far away as the egret. In this case it (and its reflection) became the focal point of a larger composition, so size didn’t seem to matter.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 5, 2021 at 7:35 AM

  12. […] February 27th came up foggy, I set out for the Riata Trace Pond, where my hopes of getting some good fog pictures were realized. At one point while walking the path around the pond I spotted this bird, which […]

  13. Fog can add such a beautiful and calming feel to a photograph. And they can feel far more subtle, too, like the one with the egret. It doesn’t stand out and hit you in the face, “Hey, look at me, I’m an egret!!!!” But if you spend the time to explore, there it is, subtly and beautifully displayed.

    Todd Henson

    March 7, 2021 at 11:18 AM

    • Call each of us an FFF (fellow fond of fog). If only Austin offered it up more often. I normally go after clarity in my photographs but subtlety, as you point out, has its charms too, as here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 7, 2021 at 2:55 PM

  14. Photographing in the fog can be such a great experience. Nice!


    March 12, 2021 at 2:38 PM

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