Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘chiaroscuro

Less than a full puff of silverpuff

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Above is a chiaroscuro portrait showing less than a full puff of silverpuff (Chaptalia texana) in the heavy shade beneath some Ashe juniper trees (Juniperus ashei) on Floral Park Dr. in my neighborhood on March 30. It’s been a good while since this species has appeared here, so below from the same photo session I’ve added a reminder that silverpuff’s flower heads are cylindrical, tend to nod, and stay mostly closed.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 7, 2019 at 4:45 AM

Almost black and white

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Call it chiaroscuro, this portrait of frostweed flowers (Verbesina virginica) growing wild in my neighborhood on October 4th. Hard to believe this species is a genus-mate of the cowpen daisy you saw here last month.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 23, 2018 at 6:12 AM

Fallingwater, falling light

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After decades of reading articles and seeing documentaries about it, on June 14th we finally made our way to Mill Run, Pennsylvania, for Fallingwater, the house that the architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed to straddle a waterfall rather than sit alongside it. The places where I most wanted to stand for pictures, the base of the main waterfall and the banks of the creek flowing away from it, unfortunately remain off limits to visitors. I can’t show you the pictures I might have made, so here instead are a few idiosyncratic takes on light and shadow at Fallingwater.

While I couldn’t look up from the base of the falls, I could and did aim straight down from the top.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 22, 2018 at 4:54 AM

When purple is white

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Several times over the years that these posts have been appearing I’ve pointed out that purple flowers seem more disposed than those of other colors to produce naturally occurring white variants. That was clearly the case with some spiderworts (Tradescantia spp.) that caught my attention at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on March 14th. You can see residual traces of purple in those flowers.

Two years ago you saw a largely white variant of a bluebonnet. (Most bluebonnets strike me as purple rather than blue.)

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 25, 2018 at 4:38 AM

Bastrop burned tree remains

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Bastrop State Park. August 11. Remains of the horrendous forest fire of 2011.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, points 3, 14, 18, and 19 in About My Techniques pertain to this picture.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 21, 2017 at 4:48 AM

Two henges

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I didn’t see it then and there, which was June 2nd in Custer State Park in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Now, back in Austin almost two months later, this ring of trees near boulders strikes me as Pinehenge. And maybe I’m a bit unhinged, but when it comes to the more contrasty view below from Mt. Rushmore three days earlier that also included pine trees and boulders, I’m inclined to call it Shadowscragglehenge.

Now surely, I thought to myself, that’s a unique name. And guess what? Google the Omniscient agrees:

Your search – Shadowscragglehenge – did not match any documents.

Suggestions:

Make sure all words are spelled correctly.

Try different keywords.

Try more general keywords.

Hooray for uniquity!

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 30, 2017 at 5:02 AM

The Badlands are good lands

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First the Indians and then the other settlers who were trying to stay alive through farming and ranching referred to a particularly rugged portion of western South Dakota as Badlands, but the Badlands are good lands for a modern landscape photographer. In the top picture, look how the light and shadow delineated the steeply rising curves of the formations that were among the first we visited on the morning of May 31st. And look at how the delineation between light and dark took place on the ground at the base of nearby strata:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 3, 2017 at 4:57 AM

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