Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nature

A world all its own

with 24 comments

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

Advertisements

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Shimmering light

with 26 comments

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

with 47 comments

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

with 23 comments

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

Back to Bastrop

with 58 comments

June 6th this year was both D-Day and B-Day. No, not a birthday, but a trip back to Bastrop after not having visited the state park there for several years. Go around as we would, in no place were we not reminded of the devastating 2011 fire that burned for weeks and destroyed 90% of the pine trees.

Still, there was plenty of life. Look at all the greenery around that strangely burned tree trunk.
And look at this little orb-weaver spider in the genus Argiope:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 15, 2019 at 4:50 PM

Ogunquit

with 21 comments

A year ago today we spent time inside the Ogunquit Museum of Art
in the town of the same name on the Maine coast.

Afterwards I clambered about behind the museum taking pictures of the rocks and tidal pools.

I never posted any of those photographs in 2018, so to make amends I’m showing you a few now.

As always, patterns and textures beckoned. So did colors, whether muted or bright.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 11, 2019 at 4:52 AM

Organic and inorganic

with 28 comments

At Southwest Harbor in Acadia National Park on June 10, 2018, I photographed things organic and inorganic.

Jackson Pollock‘s got nothing on me:

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2019 at 4:37 AM

%d bloggers like this: