Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘creek

Slide Rock State Park

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Oak Creek Canyon

On this date in 2016 we spent a few hours in Slide Rock State Park near Sedona, Arizona.

A strangely deformed alligator juniper (Juniperus deppeana)

Overwhelmed by so many other scenic places on that trip, I never showed any of the Slide Rock pictures.

How about those shadows?

After four years, finally you get to see a few of those views.

Oak Creek’s rocks and water came in for a lot of attention.

And here’s a question rather than a quotation: how often do you renew your poetic license?

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 20, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Reflecting on cardinal flowers

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Along Bull Creek on September 12th I reflected on cardinal flowers.

In fact I reflected literally and made some portraits like the first two here,
which show the flowers’ images on the moving surface of the creek.

Even without the cardinal flowers’ rich red, other reflections in Bull Creek made for appealing abstractions.

And here’s a reflection on language: “Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — George Orwell in “Politics and the English Language,” which is even more relevant now than when it appeared in 1946.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2020 at 4:33 AM

Ripples over bedrock in Bull Creek

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On my way to Stone Bridge Falls on July 10th I wore rubber boots so I could walk up the creek. In several shallow areas the patterns of the flowing water as it rippled over the bedrock caught my fancy and I gladly took a bunch of pictures. When you’re aiming straight down at such an abstract subject there’s no “proper” orientation; I turned this way and that as I looked to fill the frame in attractive ways. Here are two of them.

Our unrelated quotation for today comes from American humorist Will Rogers (1879–1935):
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 6, 2020 at 4:30 AM

Stone Bridge Falls on Bull Creek

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On the 10th of July I followed the Smith Memorial Trail to Stone Bridge Falls on Bull Creek. The picture above shows the creek immediately upstream of the falls. (I could almost imagine I was back on the Bojo River in Cebu.) The yellow flowers are roughstem rosinweed, Silphium radula; you get a closer look at one below.

And how could I not show the waterfall? Here’s a picture in
Steve G.’s accustomed mode, with a shutter speed of 1/3 second.
I think you’ll agree that’s a long time for a hand-held shot.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 20, 2020 at 4:47 AM

More cardinal flowers

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Ms. Liz, MelissaBlue and Michael Scandling were up for seeing more cardinal flowers, so here are two group portraits of Lobelia cardinalis that I made along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 26th. Notice how the quality of the red ends up different depending on where the sun is coming from, what’s in the background, and how the camera’s sensor and computer render those things. Then, of course, the processing software adds its interpretation, as does the processor, a.k.a. me.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 2, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Like a lion

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This rock formation reminds me of an animal’s head, most often a lion’s.
I photographed it along a tributary of Bull Creek in Great Hills Park on June 24th.
Hail, hail, not Freedonia but pareidolia.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 4, 2019 at 4:45 AM

Phoebulous St. Edward’s Park

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You saw last time in two horizontal photographs that on June 11th I documented parts of the cliffs along Bull Creek in St. Edward’s Park. Today’s first picture is a vertical version of the previous post’s first picture. Perhaps you’re wondering how the large black willow mysteriously vanished; the answer is that I waded far enough into the creek to get out from under the tree and have a clear shot at the cliff.

At one point, as I zoomed in to the max (400mm) on the top of the cliff and began to compose an image, a little bird flew into the frame and landed. Later Shannon Westveer identified the visitor as an Eastern phoebe, Sayornis phoebe, which you can see a lot better in the crop below.

Click to enlarge.

After I’d prepared this post I came across a mention in David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers of the comic poem “Darius Green and His Flying Machine,” written by J.T. Trowbridge before 1870. It contains these lines:

“Birds can fly,
An’ why can’t I?
Must we give in,”
Says he with a grin,
” ‘T the bluebird an’ phoebe
Are smarter ‘n we be?”

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 27, 2019 at 4:44 AM

St. Edward’s Park

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On June 11th I spent some time at St. Edward’s Park in our northwest part of Austin. While it’s not quite true that a river runs through it, Bull Creek does, and has flowed there for so long that over eons it carved out the cliff you see above, and even higher ones. The large tree across the upper part of the first photograph is a black willow (Salix nigra), common along watercourses in this part of the world. The band of darker green at and close to the creek’s surface is southern maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris (the Latin species name translates as Venus-hair), likewise familiar here in wet places. Enough rain had fallen a week earlier that water was trickling over the edge of the cliff; for some of my pictures I zoomed in on the splashing water.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 25, 2019 at 4:46 PM

Perspectives

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On April 21st, in the broad V between Scotland Well Dr. and Spicewood Springs Rd., I walked beside and through parts of a tributary of Bull Creek. People who don’t live in Austin, along with some who do, are surprised to learn that we have landscapes like this, which many associate with forests much further north. In the first image, the tree that had fallen completely across the creek became my main object of interest.

As a photographer I often present a scene from different viewpoints. In this case I walked forward from where I took the first picture, stepped over the downed tree, and became fascinated by the algae that the creek’s current swept into long strands that warranted the vertical orientation of the second photograph. I took both pictures with my lens zoomed all the way out to 24mm to encompass as much of each scene as possible.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, the newly added point 31 in About My Techniques pertains to these two pictures.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 24, 2019 at 4:45 AM

A smaller waterfall

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On April 8th, after photographing Bull Creek’s wide falls, I moved half a mile downstream and dealt with a waterfall that’s narrower and not as tall but that was still forceful after the weekend’s rain. Where I showed you pictures of the other falls at cotton-inducing speeds of 1/10th and 1/8th of a second, this time you’re getting the stop-action look of 1/1250th and 1/1600th of a second. The second photograph, taken from farther to the right but zoomed in more, gives you a closer view of the falling and churning water. And speaking of falling, the wet rocks were pretty slippery, so prudent me didn’t risk getting any closer to the edge, even for the sake of what might have been a better picture.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2019 at 4:54 AM

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