Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘abstract

The change from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning

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From Monday’s weather forecast I learned that the overnight temperature into Tuesday morning would drop a few degrees below freezing. Sure enough, when I checked the thermometer early Tuesday morning it read 29°. Equally sure enough, that meant I had to dress warmly and go out into the cold for the season’s first possible pictures of frostweed ice. I drove the half-mile to my usual stand of plants (Verbesina virginica) in Great Hills Park and found—nada. Despite the freeze, not a single frostweed plant had produced ice.

On Wednesday morning the thermometer read 32° and I gave the project a second try. This time a couple of dozen frostweed plants had woken up and remembered what they’re supposed to do when the temperature drops to freezing, and they did it, as these two photographs confirm. The second image is more abstract, which I consider a good thing in my quest for different ways to photograph a familiar subject.

If the frostweed ice phenomenon is new to you, you’re welcome to look back at previous posts to learn more.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 14, 2019 at 4:41 AM

The water without the lilies

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The previous post showed you water lilies at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge on October 6th. One adjacent span of water interested me in its own right because of its rippled surface. Funny, I don’t even remember a breeze, yet without one I couldn’t have recorded this textured abstraction.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 7, 2019 at 4:30 AM

Where there are ducks there may also be duckweed

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A few posts back you saw ducks gliding on a pond at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge on October 6th. Near those ducks I photographed several abstractions created by the duckweed, Lemna minor, that covered portions of the pond. I don’t know the identity of the other tiny plants that were mixed in.

At this scale you’ll have trouble discerning all the tiny things in the images.
Click the thumbnail below to see an enlarged excerpt from the first picture:

Here’s a more expansive view showing the interface between duckweed and bulrushes:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 3, 2019 at 4:41 PM

Giant bristlegrass

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Near where we first parked at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge on October 6th was some giant bristlegrass, Setaria magna. I scrunched and strained to get into a position from which I could play the seed head off against the cumulus clouds overhead. The result shown here strikes me as an emblem—of what, I can’t say, though the cloud nebulously recalls the shape of Antarctica.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 1, 2019 at 4:50 AM

Bulrush reflections

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Bulrushes and water lilies were common at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, as you see above. In one place without water lilies the bulrushes drew my attention by the way they made reflections in the water. Of my two dozen experiments in trying to record those abstract reflections, the one below strikes me as the most interesting; I can almost imagine that someone had knitted or woven the image.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 30, 2019 at 4:40 PM

Two birds soaring at Niagara Falls on July 25th

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© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2019 at 4:43 AM

Falling into abstraction

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On July 25th in Niagara Falls, Ontario, I took many pictures—hardly surprising for one of the world’s natural wonders. Back in Texas a few weeks later I sorted through the photographs, seeing for the first time in detail what I’d managed to capture. In the images for which I’d used a telephoto lens zoomed to its maximum length of 400mm, clouds of spray had often masked details, pushing some of the photographs toward and into abstraction. Pictures like the one below reminded me of seascapes by the English painter J.M.W. Turner.

Notice that unlike the pictures in the introductory Niagara Falls post a few days ago, these are strictly nature photographs and show no people or human elements at all.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 27, 2019 at 3:55 AM

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