Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘minimalist

A world turned upside down

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The post’s title may go for our human world, too, but it’s meant for this four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris sp.) that I found along Q Ranch Rd. on May 2nd. The ray florets in these daisies normally fold back and turn from yellow to white as they age. Whether any of that process happened after the stalk got broken and the flower head was upside down, I don’t know. I do know that the fast-moving clouds and the breeze made lining things up the way I wanted difficult. As a result I took about 30 pictures from various angles, expecting that in at least a few frames both the focus and the composition would come out okay. You’re looking at one that worked for me.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 24, 2020 at 4:43 AM

A young greenbrier

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Walking in the woods in northwest Austin on April 26th I spied a young greenbrier vine (Smilax bona-nox) with an interestingly shaped new leaf at the top. Light filtering through the trees illuminated the leaf and I realized that if I scrunched down behind the vine I might get the translucence that backlighting often produces. So that’s what I did and that’s what you see.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 13, 2020 at 4:19 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Stemless evening primrose flower opening

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From the West Pickle Campus in north Austin on March 18th, here’s the mostly closed flower of a stemless evening primrose (Oenothera triloba). The first word in the common name distinguishes this evening primrose from others: each flower stalk emerges directly from a basal rosette of leaves, and the plant has no real stems. Fully open fresh flowers are yellow, rather than the peach at the stage shown here. And speaking of colors, the area that shows up as bluish purple didn’t seem so at the time; processing the photograph intensified the faint color that must have been there all along, even while leaving the hues of the flower and sheath the way I actually saw them. Now I can ask once more: what’s reality, anyway?

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 5, 2020 at 4:33 PM

Four-nerve daisy portrait 2

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Here’s a portrait of a four-nerve daisy, Tetraneuris linearifolia, that I made by getting on the ground at the West Pickle Campus in north Austin on March 18 and aiming up into a gray-white sky, which I normally hate to do. The low light would allow only a shallow depth of field; I chose to focus on the fuzzy green center of the flower head, knowing that little else would come out in focus.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 30, 2020 at 4:30 PM

Bluebonnet pod forming

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Soft hairs cover the seed pods of bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), as you see in this pod that’s still forming.
I lucked out in getting one of the palmate leaves to serve as a pleasantly unfocused background
in this March 18th portrait from the embankment of Mopac at Braker Lane.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 24, 2020 at 4:49 PM

Rainy view across to Panglao Island

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On December 21st, 2019, from a window seat at the Lantaw Native Restaurant in Tagbilaran on the Philippine island of Bohol we looked across the water to Panglao Island. Rain softened the view.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 14, 2020 at 4:48 PM

Leaf abstraction from the Bojo Nature Reserve on December 17th

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© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Giant bristlegrass

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Near where we first parked at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge on October 6th was some giant bristlegrass, Setaria magna. I scrunched and strained to get into a position from which I could play the seed head off against the cumulus clouds overhead. The result shown here strikes me as an emblem—of what, I can’t say, though the cloud nebulously recalls the shape of Antarctica.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 1, 2019 at 4:50 AM

Two gulls at Niagara Falls on July 25th

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I took the first picture from the Canadian side in the morning and the second from the American side near sundown, each time with the lens zoomed to its maximum focal length of 400mm. Both birds spoke to me. Take that figuratively and you’re all right; believe it literally and you’re gullible.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 8, 2019 at 4:44 PM

Snow-on-the-mountain above a cumulus cloud

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From the aptly named Innovation Way in Cedar Park on August 29th, here’s a portrait of snow-on-the-mountain, Euphorbia marginata, that’s unlike any I recall making of this species. You’re welcome to compare the similar yet different snow-on-the-prairie that you saw nine days ago. To complete the triumvirate, you can also check out the fire-on-the-mountain that made its one and only appearance in these pages in 2011.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 14, 2019 at 4:33 AM

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