Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘clouds

Sunset at the Temple of Leah

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As daylight dwindled on December 14th we found ourselves driving up into the hills on the north side of Cebu City to visit the Temple of Leah. We arrived just in time for me to catch a last bit of sunset color at the top of high cumulus clouds.

By looking in a different direction a minute later I managed to record some pastel blue and pink in the sky.

One minute after that, with sunset colors almost gone, I photographed an outdoor lamp sculpture.

I’m reminded now of another globe lamp I photographed near sundown five months earlier.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 15, 2020 at 4:00 AM

Posted in nature photography

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I’ve looked at clouds

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On the flight from Coron back to Cebu City on December 14th
I sat next to a window and took pictures of clouds that interested me.

At one point I saw a rainbow by looking down, as I had on land earlier in the year.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 13, 2020 at 3:20 AM

Rhapsody in Blue at the Palladium Hotel

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At Coron in the Philippine province of Palawan we stayed at the Palladium Hotel,
whose design harkens back to buildings on the Greek island of Santorini.

On December 14th, before we left for the airport to fly back to Cebu City,
I tried out compositions that played off the morning’s wispy clouds against the hotel.
Sometimes elements of the hotel became my primary subjects.

Even bubbling water in the swimming pool made for a blue abstraction.

Just thought I’d give you something different for a change.
Actually I’ve been making pictures like these since decades before my emphasis on nature and native plants.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 11, 2020 at 4:24 AM

Still more from Coron’s island-hopping tour on December 13

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© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 9, 2020 at 4:39 AM

The Philippines

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On December 7th Eve and I flew from Austin to Seattle, then changed planes for Taipei, and finally changed once more to get to Cebu City, whose metropolitan area has the second largest population in the Philippines. While much of our 19-day trip went for family matters on the island of Cebu, including a wedding, I’d brought along a reduced version of my usual photo kit and hoped to get in some nature photography.

One Philippine province Eve (and therefore I) had never visited was Palawan, and so on the morning of December 12th we flew to the island of Busuanga in the very northern part of Palawan. That afternoon we joined a tour of the main town, Coron. The last place the tour took us was the base of Mount Tapyas, whose heights we reached by climbing 724* steps (and by enduring sore leg muscles when we had to climb more steps the next day). I see on the internet that Mount Tapyas is known for its sunsets, and it didn’t let us down.

In the first photograph the sun was still so bright that I underexposed by 3, 4, and even 5 f/stops to keep from blowing out the highlights in the solar disk. By the time of the second picture, which came 13 minutes later, I got away with an underexposure of only 1.33 f/stops, though you’ll notice some flaring on the hills beneath the sun. Just chalk it up to my usual flair as a photographer.

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* When our tour guide told us that there are 724 steps my immediate reaction was to think that 7 and 24 happen to be the lengths of the legs of a right triangle with a hypotenuse of 25 (you can do the arithmetic to verify that 7 squared plus 24 squared equals 25 squared).

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 3, 2020 at 4:29 AM

Enchanted Rock, part 5

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A couple of years ago I was shown a photograph taken by Brian P. Barnes of a geological structure at Enchanted Rock I’d never seen or even heard of. Eventually I learned that it’s called Window Rock, and that’s where I most wanted to go during our November 1st visit. No one in the park’s office could point out on a trail map exactly where the structure is, but one of the staff marked off a stretch of the Loop Trail and told me that Window Rock is located a short distance off that section of the trail. After trying several side paths and not finding Window Rock, I finally came to one that took me to what I’d been looking for.

That path led to the rock but not initially to the best photographs. The picture above shows how the side of the formation that greeted us was shadowed, given that the sun was in front of us. I got around that difficulty by literally working my way around to the other side for better lighting.

As with the jug-like boulders in the previous post, I spent time portraying
Window Rock from various angles and in different degrees of abstraction.

The view below strongly reminded me of the moai on Easter Island.

And so ends the series of posts devoted to Enchanted Rock.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 7, 2019 at 4:36 AM

Enchanted Rock, part 4

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Artists in general and photographers in particular sometimes like to depict the same person or thing in various ways. The Cubists got excited about showing multiple views of a subject simultaneously, as in Marcel Duchamp’s famous “Nude Descending a Staircase.” At Enchanted Rock on November 1st I took a more-conventional approach, making separate photographs showing different aspects of an intriguing boulder formation that looked like huge jugs or flasks with short hoodoos in lieu of stoppers. The first photograph gives you an overview of the formation.

The second view isolates part of the formation that was central in the first image.

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include some closer and more-abstract takes on these formations,
the first of which gives you a better look at the orange and yellow lichens on the boulder above.

The two abstractions below continue playing up the rough texture of the weather-sculpted rocks.

You might think you’re looking at the ruins of some ancient civilization in a desert.

The wispy clouds that stayed with us the whole time made for excellent backdrops.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 5, 2019 at 4:47 AM

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