Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘mountains

Another unconventional view of a national monument

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On the morning of May 30th, two days before bedeviling Devil’s Tower, we’d rushed to Mt. Rushmore, where along with more-conventional pictures I took this one looking up at a portion of the famous monument from a cleft between boulders.

But this is a nature photography blog, so here, likewise from Mt. Rushmore, is the different yet somehow similar white of a truncated trunk sculpted by nature rather than people.

Standing Tree Trunk Remains White and Broken 2538B

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 13, 2017 at 5:00 AM

The Black Hills of South Dakota

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On June 2nd I took this picture from well up on the slope of a mountain (was it Mount Coolidge?) in Custer State Park, which lies in the Black Hills of South Dakota. In addition to looking outward and far away, I looked downward and close, where I found pastel-colored rocks and lichens, brown pine needles and cones, and an entrance to an ant nest.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 5, 2017 at 4:44 AM

The Badlands are good lands

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First the Indians and then the other settlers who were trying to stay alive through farming and ranching referred to a particularly rugged portion of western South Dakota as Badlands, but the Badlands are good lands for a modern landscape photographer. In the top picture, look how the light and shadow delineated the steeply rising curves of the formations that were among the first we visited on the morning of May 31st. And look at how the delineation between light and dark took place on the ground at the base of nearby strata:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 3, 2017 at 4:57 AM


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4745* is what the car’s trip odometer read when we reached home on June 15th, the 22nd day of traveling generally NNW from Austin and then back again by a different route. In the weeks ahead you’ll see photographs from this latest trip.

We begin today with a dramatic image from Rocky Mountain National Park. You can see that on June 5th the mountains still had a fair amount of snow on them. I underexposed the photograph by 3 f/stops to keep the sun under control.

And here’s a second picture that gives you a better look at one of the snow-covered mountains in that area:

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* Coincidentally, that’s about the same mileage we racked up on the four-week February–March New Zealand trip, pictures from which you were still seeing as recently as the last post.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 20, 2017 at 4:55 AM

New Zealand: Lake Kaniere

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All right, if I’m going to mention Lake Kaniere, as I did last time, I guess I should show you what it looks like. The view of it above is from February 19th.

But I really prefer Lake Wakatipu, which I photographed two days later under similarly overcast skies but with ultramarine and more animated and therefore more photogenic water. And oh, the patterned rocks along parts of Lake Wakatipu’s shore:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 18, 2017 at 4:41 AM

New Zealand: closer looks at a Milford Sound waterfall

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Tour boats on Milford Sound get close enough to some of the waterfalls cascading into it for tourists on board to see one or more rainbows in the spray, as we found on February 22nd. In the photo above you can make out a faint second rainbow half-way across the intersection of the land and the sound. When our boat got closer to the waterfall, the main rainbow got brighter and better defined, as shown in the second photo.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 12, 2017 at 4:52 AM

New Zealand: Milford Sound

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On February 22nd we made like tourists and took a two-hour boat cruise of Milford Sound on the southwestern coast of New Zealand’s South Island. As you can see, Milford Sound is a fiord. Given the heavy annual rainfall in this area, more than a dozen waterfalls cascade into the fiord. Notice one near the left edge of the first photograph and the right edge of the second. Notice also how the clouds descend below the peaks of the mountains that line the fiord. The distant white in the second photograph is residual snow or ice from the previous winter.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 9, 2017 at 5:01 AM

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