Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘fountain

Another fountain

with 30 comments

A year ago today I was driving on Lake Victor Drive in the rapidly grown and still growing Austin suburb of Pflugerville when I noticed a path between houses that seemed to lead somewhere interesting. After parking, I walked through and found myself at a new place: a large pond apparently connected to an apartment complex. The immediate shore all the way around had been heavily mowed and looked like it was always kept that way. Even so, I still found some plants and non-plants to photograph. In the latter category was a fountain of the type that shoots water straight up into the air. The top picture reveals the top of the jet at 1/2000 of a second. Below is a view at 1/1250 of a second showing how sunlight created a rainbow in the water that was mistified* as it fell back into the pond.

* In case you’re mystified by mistified, I’ll add that I created it on the pattern of words like liquified and solidified. Following that pattern, mistified means ‘turned into mist.’


◊        ◊

Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman who came to the United States in 1831 and ended up writing the classic book Democracy in America, had extraordinary insights into the spirit of the young country. Here’s an example:

What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish?

That strikes me as even more relevant in 2021 than it was in 1831.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2021 at 4:40 AM

The reason I’d gone to Gault Lane and Burnet Road on October 11th

with 23 comments

The reason I’d gone to Gault Lane and Burnet Road on October 11th was that early in the morning on the day before I’d seen a bright orange sun disc rising, and I hoped I could line that up behind either of the two fountains in the pond there. Well, the sun wasn’t as good on the 11th, and it turned out that trees and other objects around the fountain would have gotten in the way anyhow.

Even so, I got some fountain photographs that were abstract enough to make me think of them as successes. The picture at the top reveals how the apex of one fountain’s vertical jet of water was the first part the rising sun lit up—if you can even say “lit up,” given how dark the water looks against the brightening sky. The second photograph shows the way the increasingly high sun gradually illuminated lower parts of the fountain. Below, about six minutes later, there was even more light.

For you technophiles out there, let me add that I used a shutter speed of 1/2500 of a second in the first two takes and 1/2000 of a second in the last picture. You could say I made fast work of the subject.

And here’s an unrelated quotation for today: “Harry Truman liked to say that the only new thing in the world is the history you don’t know…. A sense of history is an antidote to self-pity and self-importance, of which there is much too much in our time. To a large degree, history is a lesson in proportions.” So said David McCullough in his 1998 speech “The Lessons of History,” given at the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 11, 2020 at 4:34 AM

So what about the fountain?

with 53 comments

So what about the fountain that I’d stopped to photograph when I found the crawfish claw?
Above is a picture of the water’s apex taken at 1/2000 of a second to stop the motion,
and below you have a soft take on the fountain at a long 1/15 of a second.

Today’s subject flows into Shelley’s poem “Love’s Philosophy”:

The fountains mingle with the river
   And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
   With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
   All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
   Why not I with thine?—
See the mountains kiss high heaven
   And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
   If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
   And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
   If thou kiss not me?

 

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 17, 2020 at 4:39 AM

%d bloggers like this: