Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘abstraction

White prickly poppy center

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White Prickly Poppy Flower Center 0486

Here’s a close and downward look at Argemone albiflora, the white prickly poppy. Notice the crowd of yellow stamens invariably paying homage to the red-topped pistil that rises above them in the center of the flower. This photograph is from Great Hills Park on April 23, 2013, five years ago today. I’d planned to show the picture soon afterward but put the post aside and only recently rediscovered it. Better late than never.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 23, 2018 at 4:47 AM

New Zealand: Rainbow Falls

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A year ago today we visited Rainbow Falls outside the town of Kerikeri in New Zealand’s Northland. The falls were welcome, coming as they did so early in the trip. That said, we saw more impressive ones later, especially on the South Island.

I’d been away from New Zealand’s giant ferns for 23 months, so the leaf of a large fern adjacent to Rainbow Falls, shown below, appealed to me at least as much as the waterfall and provided a chance for a geometric abstraction.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 8, 2018 at 4:52 AM

Frostweed ice: toward abstraction

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The extrusion of ice by frostweed (Verbesina virginica) is a great natural phenomenon. Austin’s temperature stayed mostly below freezing from the morning of January 1st, when I went down to Great Hills Park to take my first photographs of the new year, through this morning, when I returned for a second round of frostweed pictures, even more than two days earlier. Frostweed ice offers an opportunity for photographic abstractions, and that’s what you’re seeing here. Unlike the picture you saw last time, which involved flash, today’s images were made by natural light, which necessitated wider apertures that produced a softer feel.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 3, 2018 at 6:00 PM

A different point of view

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As you heard last time, late in the afternoon on October 21st we stopped in far northern Arizona at the Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River. I’d never heard of the bridge, which I found out was built way back in 1927-28. Its arch measures 616 ft., its total length 834 ft., and its height above the river 467 ft. In 1995 a new, stronger bridge was inaugurated parallel to the old one, which has remained open for foot and bicycle traffic. It’s a good place for a photographer to walk out to get an unobstructed look at the river and both sides of its canyon, as you see above. More interesting artistically, at least to me, is the abstract view from the middle of the bridge looking mostly down at one side of the gorge and the adjacent part of the river:

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© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 12, 2016 at 4:47 AM

Sometimes nature suggests human activity when there has been none.

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Sometimes nature suggests human activity even where there has been none. As soon as I saw these natural patterns at the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada on October 24th they reminded me of the petroglyphs you looked at last time.

Thanks to three commenters on that previous post, I now know that the darker markings on the stone shown here are likely to be desert varnish. The areas that tend toward black would have more manganese in them, and the reddish areas more iron. Live and learn.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 6, 2016 at 5:00 AM

The foreground becomes background

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Wild Garlic Bud by Cedar Sage Flowers 0230

The species that was the subject of the last post—Salvia roemeriana, cedar sage—served up its flowers on a different day in a different place as an amorphous but colorfully saturated background for a bud of wild garlic, Allium drummondii, that was beginning to open. Say April 4 along Bluegrass Dr. and you’ll have it right.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 18, 2016 at 4:59 AM

Abstract patterns in wood

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Bark Patterns 4508A

Click for significantly larger size.

Who would I be if after two posts of generally landscape-y pictures from the Red Trail in Bastrop State Park on February 10th I didn’t also highlight at least one of the abstract patterns I found on the surfaces of the dead trees? This was by far my favorite, and it soon reminded me of designs from the Art Nouveau movement in Europe in the late 1800s. No doubt similar patterns in nature inspired some of those designs.

The photographers among you might wonder if I converted this image to black and white to emphasize the patterns. I didn’t. This is a color photograph, and there are faint traces of brown mixed in with the predominant gray. Speaking of which, yesterday Steve Gingold suggested converting the first photograph in this Bastrop series to black and white. I took him up on that, and if you’d like to see the result, you can go back to that post and scroll down in the comments.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2016 at 4:58 AM

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