Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘abstract

I didn’t find the Maligne River malign

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No, I didn’t find the Maligne River malign at all. In fact I found it more interesting photographically than Maligne Lake when we visited on September 5th.

From a little bridge over the river at the place where it empties out of the lake I looked down at colors and rocks and patterns in the water.

Adjacent to the stillness and ripples a bit of whitewater asserted itself.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 13, 2017 at 5:59 AM

The shallows of Medicine Lake

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An adjective often applied to Jasper National Park’s Medicine Lake is “disappearing.” That’s because in the fall, when there hasn’t been much meltwater flowing into the lake for a while, the water level goes down—even to the point that the lake disappears. The previous post showed you that when we reached the northern end of Medicine Lake on September 5th it still looked like a lake. As we continued south, the water kept dropping until we saw what seemed more like a broad, shallow river with lots of sandbars in it. You’re welcome to read more about this strange lake that isn’t always a lake.

If the craft of photography interests you, newly added point 29 in About My Techniques offers some insight into today’s picture. So does point 9.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 2, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Strange clouds

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My introduction to Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park on September 3rd was the clouds you see here, which were strange in the way they apparently cast shadows on the sky. Have you ever heard of or seen anything casting a shadow on the sky? I guess the air held enough water vapor or other particles to create a faint medium on which shadows could register, but my reaction was still that I was seeing shadows where I’m not supposed to be able to see any.

Because the area near the sun was so bright in comparison to everything else, I underexposed by three f/stops to keep from blowing out the highlights. As a result, the badlands hills across the bottom of the photograph appear in silhouette and make the overall image more abstract. That’s fine by me.

UPDATE: Les Cowley of Atmospheric Optics explained the scene this way: “The well defined clouds are casting their shadows onto a lower layer of haze or thin cloud. the lower cloud acts as a translucent screen and you view the shadows — and the upper cloud — through it.”

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 29, 2017 at 4:46 AM

A different Gaillardia

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Because I’m familiar with several species of Gaillardia in central Texas, when I saw a little group of plants in Waterton Lakes National Park on August 29th I knew right away that I was dealing with some kind of Gaillardia. After returning home I consulted the BONAP maps for the genus and was relieved to find only one species marked for that area: Gaillardia aristata, known colloquially as common gaillardia, blanketflower or great blanketflower, and even (confusingly) brown-eyed susan, which I associate with a different genus in the sunflower family. In any case, I was taken with this Gaillardia flower head that had dried out and was part-way through producing and releasing its seeds. The curve of the stem added to its appeal.

Click for greater clarity.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 11, 2017 at 4:53 AM

Monetizing Bow Lake

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A common meaning of monetize is ‘to make into a source of income.’ That’s not the sense I intended with the title of today’s post, which is clearer if I insert a hyphen into the verb: Monet-ize. Monet’s water-lilies came to mind when I looked at some of the abstract photographs I’d been inspired to take of Bow Lake in Alberta’s Banff National Park on September 4th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 10, 2017 at 5:00 AM

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

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Following the adage in the title, sometimes I was able to make artistic use of the smoky haze from forest fires that was with us for much of our stay in the Canadian Rockies. In today’s picture, from the morning of September 7th along the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, the haze abstracted the mountains into overlapping margins whose darkness decreased as the distance increased. The resulting minimalist photograph keeps reminding me of a classical Chinese landscape painting.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2017 at 4:30 AM

Like a green snake in the water

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The sinuous algae you see here looked to me on July 25th, and still today, like a green snake in the water of Bull Creek. Notice the tiny aquatic insects. The leaf may be from a cedar elm tree (Ulmus crassifolia).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 15, 2017 at 4:37 AM

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