Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Indian paintbrush seen from above

with 21 comments


Castilleja indivisa; March 5th south of Smithville.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2023 at 4:25 AM

21 Responses

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  1. a great view of this


    March 16, 2023 at 4:44 AM

  2. It looks entirely different. I was trying to guess what it was.

    automatic gardener

    March 16, 2023 at 7:23 AM

  3. The saturated color against the black background is appealing (flash?), but it also provides a terrific view of the actual flowers nestled inside the bracts. My own experience with ‘top-down’ views of paintbrush has been that the flowers are only more-or-less visible; this is really great.


    March 16, 2023 at 7:38 AM

    • I’d have thought flash, too, but a check of the metadata just now showed natural light. An aperture of f/10 proved good enough to keep everything in focus, which in retrospect I also wouldn’t expect. Luck was with me. During processing I darkened the ground to leave no distractions from the paintbrush.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 7:52 AM

  4. A very intense red

    Robert Parker

    March 16, 2023 at 8:02 AM

  5. It’s beautiful! It’s a perspective I don’t see when hiking along. Usually it’s the side view I see.


    March 16, 2023 at 9:46 AM

  6. What a difference an angle can make!

    Your unique perspective allows us to see details it is all too easy to overlook in the field.

    Superb photograph. Again.

    Wally Jones

    March 16, 2023 at 10:07 AM

    • Thanks. Normally I avoid aiming straight down because that angle usually shows clutter on the ground. That was somewhat true here, so I darkened the background to eliminate the junk I didn’t want to have distract from the paintbrush.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 10:15 AM

  7. An interesting photo detail can be found on the right, where the flash created a curious shadow on the red petal.

    Peter Klopp

    March 16, 2023 at 11:17 AM

    • I originally thought so, too. When I checked the metadata this morning, however, I found that I hadn’t used flash, so the sun must have cast that shadow. Regardless of the source, we both like the shadow.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 11:25 AM

  8. This shot exudes a huge amount of warmth. The black background, flash induced I assume, really enhances that.

    Steve Gingold

    March 16, 2023 at 4:39 PM

    • The previous commenter inferred flash, and even I thought I might have used flash (I prepared this post a week ago, so the details weren’t on my mind). Nevertheless, when I checked the metadata today I found I hadn’t used flash. The shadows all came from sunlight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 16, 2023 at 5:09 PM

  9. It is a beautiful portrait, Steve. I love the dark background calling attention to the bloom.

    Lavinia Ross

    March 16, 2023 at 4:59 PM

  10. As Wally wrote: Superb photograph. Again.


    March 16, 2023 at 7:52 PM

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