Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

New Zealand: Cathedral Cove trees and textures

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Probably the most visited bit of nature on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula
is Cathedral Cove, where we spent several hours three years ago today.

Leaning out over the cliff in the first photograph are pōhutukawa treesMetrosideros excelsa.

Me being me, I was taken with all the appealing rock textures.

I took dozens of pictures, of which you’re seeing a few.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 7, 2020 at 4:51 AM

Sinuous leaf tip at the Bojo Nature Reserve on December 17th

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A close view at f/4 makes for a shallow depth of field.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 27, 2020 at 4:45 AM

Bojo River

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On our trip to the Philippines we visited the Bojo [pronounced Boho] River Nature Reserve in Aloguinsan on the west side of Cebu. Local residents of what was (and still is) a fishing village have been recruited to guide eco-tours of the Bojo River, and that’s how Eve and I found ourselves on December 17th in a slender outrigger being paddled down the quiet river on a leisurely ride. What botanical purpose the “partially overlapping pancakes” serve in the second picture, I have no idea.

We approached the farthest point on the tour as we neared the place where the Bojo River empties into the Tañon Strait. The rocks on the river banks get steeper there, as the next three pictures confirm.

The “bathtub rings” in the final two photos show how much the river rises and falls with the incoming tide.

Eventually the water got choppy, and it probably wouldn’t have been safe to go farther in such a small boat.
In the distance we could see the island of Negros.

Upcoming posts will bring you more pictures from the Bojo River Nature Reserve.

©2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 25, 2020 at 4:44 AM

Kawasan Falls

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On December 16th we crossed over to the west side of Cebu and went down to Kawasan Falls. It swarmed with tourists, the people who run it charge for every little thing, and the water has been partially diverted from the falls. Nevertheless, here are two views of the place, one vertical and the other horizontal, one full-length and the other truncated, one at a slow shutter speed and the other at a high shutter speed.

Here’s the area adjacent to the falls:

On the walk back I couldn’t help noticing a decaying palm frond in the river that flows out from the falls.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 20, 2020 at 4:37 PM

Reptile-textured tree stump remains

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This reptile-textured tree stump fascinated me in
John Bryan State Park near Yellow Springs, Ohio, on July 21.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 2, 2019 at 4:49 AM

Seeping cliff

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On June 12th I spent time at the cliff on the west side of Capital of Texas Highway
a little north of the bridge over the Colorado River.

You can see that as water seeps through the cliff it slowly deposits minerals.

Most of the cliff doesn’t seep. In some places the contrast between wet and dry calls attention to itself.

Might these be time- and weather-worn Mayan glyphs?

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 23, 2019 at 4:22 AM

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A world all its own

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Click to enlarge and see more details.

For several weeks I’d been noticing webworm (Hyphantria cunea) webs at the tips of tree branches. On the morning of June 25th, after the previous day’s rain, I was walking along an overgrown path in the southeast extension of St. Edward’s Park when I encountered a webworm web still covered with raindrops. I got in close to record the fantasy world. I don’t recall ever before taking a picture like this one. Happy new.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, points 1 and 15 in About My Techniques apply to this picture.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Shimmering light

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One stretch of a Bull Creek tributary in my neighborhood flows beneath a limestone overhang. There are times when morning light filters through the trees, reflects off the surface of the water, and shimmers on the limestone wall of the overhang. July 8th at 9:04 was one of those times.

For the photographically curious: I took these pictures with a simple old 50mm lens wide open at f/1.4. Understandably, given the optics and the flowstoned face of the rocky overhang, not everything came out sharp, but somehow that hasn’t bothered me.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 16, 2019 at 4:46 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

But I wasn’t finished with basket-flowers for 2019

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I did much of my basket-flower (Plectocephalus americanus) photography for this year on May 26th, which provided the pictures you saw of a colony and an individual flower head. On the morning of June 9th, as part of a mostly cultural jaunt to Dallas and Forth Worth, we sauntered up Flower Mound’s flower mound, where basket-flowers were still putting on quite a show. (Presumably the season was the reason, with spring coming a little later to the area 200 miles north of Austin than it does to central Texas). Some of the basket-flowers I saw there seemed different from what I’m used to in central Texas. Among the differences were baskets that seemed somewhat metallic, almost as if made with copper or brass.

Several of the basket-flowers struck me as more bundle-like than usual as they opened.

Some had florets of a richer purple than I recall seeing in Austin. Naturally I welcomed the novelties.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 24, 2019 at 4:32 AM

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