Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘landscape

The Upper Falls at Letchworth

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On July 27th we visited the three main waterfalls at Letchworth State Park.
These are the Upper Falls photographed at 1/5000 of a second:

To let you sense the water’s movement I made an animation
from two consecutive frames taken less than half a second apart.

Come closer to the churning water at 1/2000 of a second:

The plants on the far side of the gorge enjoyed what amounted to constant sideways rain:

Here’s a view showing part of the top of the falls at 1/2000 of a second:

In contrast, at a slow 1/13 of a second I recorded this view of a nearby side waterfall
that some visitors ambled down to for pictures of themselves at a more-human scale:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 20, 2019 at 4:03 PM

(WF) cubed + G cubed

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Today’s title is a coded description of the land that is upstate New York: WonderFully Well-Formed WaterFalls and Gorgeous Gorges Galore. In fact the pictures from those kinds of places make up the majority of all the ones I took on the trip. Rather than going in chronological order, which would mean that for a time you’d see post after post with the same types of photographs, I’ll maintain variety by interspersing* gorge and waterfall pictures from New York State with those of other subjects in other places.

Although I grew up on Long Island and visited various sites upstate during my childhood and later on, somehow until July 27th of this year I’d never made it to Letchworth State Park, which bills its Genesee River gorges as the Grand Canyon of the East. Having been to the Grand Canyon of the West, I find the claim a bit of a stretch. Still, there’s no denying that Letchworth is a worthy place to visit. It’s home to three large and impressive waterfalls that truthfully go by the names Lower, Middle, and Upper, along with dozens of smaller falls. Today’s pictures come from the vicinity of the Lower Falls, which we saw first.


How about the strata in the walls of those rocky gorges?

The angularity of some structures made me think I was looking at the ruins of ancient buildings.
And as always, some plants find rootholds in seemingly unlikely places.

Look how wide the Lower Falls are. I wanted to shoot from further left but I haven’t learned how to fly.

* In current English we can intersperse and disperse and even asperse but we can’t just sperse; in early modern English sperse was a synonym of disperse.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 17, 2019 at 4:43 AM

5100

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Over the 26 days from July 17 through August 11 we drove 5100 miles on a journey that took us as far afield as Toronto and New York. This was a combination trip:

  • People, including some I hadn’t seen since 1973.
  • Culture, primarily in the form of museums, most of which we got into for free thanks to reciprocal privileges from our membership in Austin’s Blanton Museum.
  • Scenic places (had to do at least some nature photography, right?).

On July 17 we made the fatiguing 650-mile push to Memphis. The next morning I photographed a pond along the Austin Peay Highway northeast of Memphis.

Here’s a second view of that pond:

Not long afterwards I stopped at another pond a little further east:

In the shallows of that second pond grew a plant that, because of reflections, seemed to be floating in clouds:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 15, 2019 at 4:47 AM

A new waterfall

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Way back on April 20th I found a waterfall in the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt that was new to me. I took pictures in rather harsh light and also went back the next day to take more photographs in slightly softer light. Somehow I never showed any of those pictures here, so partly to make up for that and partly as a scene-setter, I’ve begun this post with a ferns-on-boulder view of the falls from back then.

On June 28th I returned to the waterfall, where I experimented with fast shutter speeds (above, 1/1600 of a second, shades of Hokusai’s “Great Wave”) and slow shutter speeds (below, 1/25 of a second). Each approach has advantages and drawbacks.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 7, 2019 at 4:48 AM

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

Verdure on the seeping cliff

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As you heard last time, on June 12th I spent time at the cliff along Capital of Texas Highway a little north of the bridge over the Colorado River. The water that seeps out of the cliff supports vegetation, most notably southern maidenhair ferns, Adiantum capillus-veneris, which in one place formed a column that grew all the way up to the top of the cliff:

Here and there isolated maidenhair ferns found refuge in little alcoves.

In a couple of areas the lush maidenhair ferns turned the base of the cliff into a green wall.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 26, 2019 at 4:40 AM

Stone Bridge Falls

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Monday night it rained. Tuesday morning I followed the Smith Memorial Trail to Stone Bridge Falls on Bull Creek, hoping the rain would have invigorated the waterfall. It had, as you see in the scene-setting first photo.

Me being me, I experimented with portraying the falls in different ways.
One approach was to use a slow shutter speed (1/13 of a second) to create silky water:

But more often than not I stayed with high shutter speeds, as is my wont.
Along with that, some of the time I leaned toward abstraction, as I’m also inclined to do:

At times I also used my camera’s burst mode to take high-shutter-speed photographs in quick succession. The point was to document how much the water changed in very short intervals. The following consecutive closeups are all time-stamped 9:10:17, meaning that they were recorded in less than one second; each lasted just 1/2500 of a second. I think you’ll agree that it’s easy to spot some changes. For example, one difference is the prominent oval over on the right side of the middle image, which hadn’t fully closed in the first image and which had disappeared by the time of the third picture.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 10, 2019 at 4:00 AM

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