Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Texture, reflection, abstraction

with 19 comments

Onion Creek in McKinney Falls State Park; March 15, 2021.

And here’s an unrelated observation from Sense and Sensibility (1811): “…When people are determined on a mode of conduct which they know to be wrong, they feel injured by the expectation of any thing better from them.” Throughout the novel, Jane Austen’s comments about many of her characters are trenchant, acerbic, cynical, sardonic. Those observations are unfortunately lost in movie versions of the novel. Perhaps someday a director will make a version with voice-overs to preserve the author’s commentary. Here’s another passage:

“On ascending the stairs, the Miss Dashwoods found so many people before them in the room [at a store], that there was not a person at liberty to tend to their orders; and they were obliged to wait. All that could be done was, to sit down at that end of the counter which seemed to promise the quickest succession; one gentleman only was standing there, and it is probable that Elinor was not without hope of exciting his politeness to a quicker despatch. But the correctness of his eye, and the delicacy of his taste, proved to be beyond his politeness. He was giving orders for a toothpick-case for himself, and till its size, shape, and ornaments were determined, all of which, after examining and debating for a quarter of an hour over every toothpick-case in the shop, were finally arranged by his own inventive fancy, he had no leisure to bestow any other attention on the two ladies, than what was comprised in three or four very broad stares; a kind of notice which served to imprint on Elinor the remembrance of a person and face, of strong, natural, sterling insignificance, though adorned in the first style of fashion.”

How about “sterling insignificance” as a zinger?

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2021 at 4:40 AM

19 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I liked the way you captured the light as it penetrated the branches down to the water and its golden reflection, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    March 22, 2021 at 7:56 AM

  2. I love this photo—the colours and texture. The texture gives the effect of a painting.


    March 22, 2021 at 8:34 AM

    • All those ripples, which I accentuated in my processing, contribute to the textured feel of the photograph and give it the painterly look you saw in it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2021 at 8:46 AM

  3. Nice. This reminds me of Escher’s “Three Worlds”.

    Steve Gingold

    March 22, 2021 at 5:45 PM

    • As soon as I saw “Three Worlds” I recognized, but I hadn’t thought about my photograph’s resemblance to it. I’m glad you pointed it out.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2021 at 7:22 PM

  4. You’ve quoted one of my favorite authors! And the photo is just gorgeous. The golden light through the trees and reflected back is stunning.


    March 22, 2021 at 6:35 PM

    • I was quite happy with this photograph, as well as with other pictures of the scene that I made with different compositions and orientations. Jane Austen was so observant!

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 22, 2021 at 7:25 PM

  5. Maybe Jane Austen was “sterlinged-tongued”, in addition to being silver-tongued.


    March 22, 2021 at 8:23 PM

  6. So often in spring, even the light seems tinted with the delicate greens emerging on the trees. The reflection on the water reminds me of that; it’s a different sunlight than is seen in summer. It’s not only green that colors the light, either. When I was driving home on Sunday, there was a stretch of highway where vetch was thick along the road. It was impossible to see the flowers themselves, but the air above them seemed tinted blue. When I tried to look directly at it, it disappeared, but a sideways glance could catch it. That’s what your photo reminds me of: a sideways glance at an ephemeral scene.

    Now that I think about it, that’s a hallmark of Austen’s work, too: those wonderful sideways glances at the scenes around her.


    March 23, 2021 at 6:55 AM

    • Do I detect a little kvetch about not being able to directly see the vetch? Not really, as you seem to have enjoyed the tinted air—the thing itself as well as the concept. Whether Austen’s insights into people could be considered sideways glances, I don’t know. They seem pretty direct to me, though you could say that because the characters in her novels don’t say them to each other outright, but sometimes through facial expressions and bodily gestures, the insights are given indirectly.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 23, 2021 at 7:20 AM

  7. That is a beautiful, other-worldly composition, Steve. Nice capture!

    Lavinia Ross

    March 23, 2021 at 10:51 PM

    • Thanks. I knew I was onto something as soon as I saw it. You might say a mix of real worlds makes it other-worldly.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 24, 2021 at 7:36 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: