Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘ocean

Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day in 2017 found us taking a long round trip from Paihia to two places even farther north in New Zealand. The first was the Te Paki dunes, where among the many pictures I took was one of cloud shadows moving across the sand.

Then we continued to the northernmost easily accessible point in the country, Cape Reinga. Below is a coastal view looking back south from there. The long leaves of the flax plants, Phormium tenax, point out (literally) which way the wind was blowing.

New Zealanders will have finished Valentine’s Day by now, so retroactive good wishes to you.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 14, 2019 at 11:31 AM

Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve

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Two years ago today we stopped along the Pacific Ocean in California at the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve. The first photograph shows you waves breaking toward the shore, moving white mimics of the dark hills fixed beyond them. The second picture show how an occasional wave made it over a rise on the beach and into a shallow depression, there to creep along with a frothy yellow fringe.

Walking away from the surf, I sought out patterns in the dunes and clouds:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 4, 2018 at 4:27 AM

What a wave

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Our first contact with Maine’s Acadia National Park came on June 8th. That afternoon, arriving from New Brunswick, we visited the Schoodic section of the park, which is not connected to the main part across the Mt. Desert Narrows. Like other sites we’d already been to on the Atlantic coast, this one had rocky outcrops standing against the sea. In one place I noticed how the rocks caused crashing waves to hurl their water upward.

The difficulty for a photographer was that incoming waves didn’t consistently break in the same spot, so it was hard to know where to aim. I chose a high shutter speed, put the camera in a mode that would take several pictures a second, and then stood waiting, looking through the viewfinder in the direction where some waves had already splashed up, hoping my reflexes would be good enough to press the shutter release button as soon as a wave seemed to be beginning to break. Given the difficulties, most of the resulting pictures didn’t turn out great. Still, I was happy with a few of them. The one I chose to show here pleases me because, while we usually think of waves as horizontal, the water in this one formed a vertical arc. If you look beyond the wave, you might reasonably think you’re seeing portions of a man-made wall; in fact those rocks were all natural.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 8, 2018 at 4:47 AM

New Zealand: Tunnel Beach

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A year ago today we visited Tunnel Beach a little south of Dunedin. In addition to the man-made tunnel through the rock that allows people to walk to the side of the headland that’s shown above, weather and waves on the other side have created the natural tunnel shown below. Some good wave action was in evidence while we were there.

And look at the colors provided by minerals, mosses, and lichens in one of the shaded areas that was behind me when I took the first photograph:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2018 at 4:00 AM

New Zealand: Stirling Point

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A year and a day ago we reached the southern end of the South Island in a town called Bluff. At Stirling Point, which for my purposes should have been called Swirling Point, I watched the bull kelp (Durvillaea antarctica or D. poha) flowing in and out with the waves. Last year I showed one of the more than 270 (!) pictures I took of that. Here are a couple more. Because the kelp moved fairly rapidly in the water, I set my camera’s shutter speed to 1/640 of a second for closer pictures like the one below.

By the way: in addition to this New Zealand retrospective, you might enjoy scrolling back through the New Zealand series that appeared on the Fotohabitate blog in 2016. The text of each post there is in German first, followed by English, so you’ll be able to follow along. The photographs speak their own language.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 25, 2018 at 4:42 AM

New Zealand: from island to ice cream

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From a year ago today comes this view of Kāpiti Island. In case you’re wondering about the the post’s title, Kāpiti Island has given its name to a popular brand of dairy products.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 18, 2018 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: non-flowering and flowering

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Even if that pōhutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) wasn’t blooming at Cape Reinga on February 14, 2017, several of the flax plants (Phormium tenax) there were. Now you can say you got some flowers on Valentine’s Day.

The Wikipedia article about this genus notes that “Phormium tenax flowers have the same curvature as the beak of the nectar eating Tui.” You can verify that in a photograph from our 2015 trip to New Zealand.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 14, 2018 at 4:51 AM

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