Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘pareidolia

New Zealand: the retrospective from a year ago concludes

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Well, folks, it’s been fun reviewing some of the sights and sites that made our 2017 visit to New Zealand so memorable. I’ll admit it’s not hard to do that in such a scenic country.

Like the past several posts, here’s a last one from Cathedral Cove on March 7th. It’s something that Georgia O’Keeffe might have felt right at home with if you allow dried-out driftwood to take the place of a sun-bleached animal skull.

I’d planned to take pictures for one more day on this trip, and in particular I wanted to go back to Whangaparaoa, where I’d seen some colorfully appealing patterns on Little Manly Beach in 2015. Alas, even as we drove back to Whitianga from Cathedral Cove, drops began to fall (look at the dark sky in the upper left of the photograph), and the rain continued heavily all through the night. When we went to check out of our apartment the next morning to head for Auckland, the manager told us that so much rain had come down that both roads off the Coromandel Peninsula were washed out. We ended up spending an extra day in Whitianga with little to do, given the yucky weather. By the morning of March 9th, one of the two roads off the peninsula had reopened and we made it to Auckland with a few hours to spare before we had to check in at the airport for our flight home. Adiós, New Zealand.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 10, 2018 at 4:44 AM

New Zealand: the glow not of worms but of day

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A year and a day ago we visited the Kawiti Caves in Waiomio to make up for something we’d missed on our first New Zealand trip: the famous glowworms. I couldn’t record that sort of glow on a public tour, so I turned my camera loose on what the glow of day revealed outside the caves. Mostly that meant native bush and boulders. (If we extend the scope of “native” to include “boulders,” we can ask whether there’s such a thing as a non-native boulder? I guess a large meteorite qualifies.)

I couldn’t decide which of two prominent rock formations to show, so I’ve included both. At the far right in the second view a few of you may see a pareidolic head akin to New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain, which collapsed in 2003.

What most caught my attention outside the glowworm caves was the old man’s beard lichens (genus Usnea) hanging conspicuously from some of the trees:

Just a month before I came upon this beard lichen in New Zealand, I photographed a species of Usnea an hour east of Austin.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 9, 2018 at 4:38 AM

A hoodoo begets a head

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Click for greater size.

This heady panorama is from the morning of September 3rd at Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta, where strange cloud shadows in the sky had greeted us a couple of hours earlier.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, point 6 in About My Techniques is relevant to today’s picture.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 28, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Camel Rock

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Here’s a view from June 10th showing Camel Rock, a landmark on the main highway some 11 miles north of downtown Santa Fe. When I first visited Camel Rock nearly half a century ago, anyone could walk up to it and even onto it. Now I found the structure ringed by a fence. While I appreciate the protection, the fence made it hard to take pictures because I couldn’t get close enough to stand or sit where I wanted to. Oh well, I did what I could, aided by one of those famous New Mexico sunsets.

Do you see the rocky outline of the camel, complete with a hoodoo for a head and neck? If you’d like a look back at other pareidolic images that have appeared here in 2016 and 2017, click “pareidolia” in the “Tagged with” section at the bottom of this post and scroll down through the results. (There are bound to be instances in older posts as well, but I learned the term pareidolia only last year.)

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 2, 2017 at 4:42 AM

More resemblances from Mt. Rushmore

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In a post a couple of weeks ago you saw the naturally sculpted remains of a tree that had resonances of the carved rocks at Mt. Rushmore. Elsewhere at the national monument the resemblance went the other way. As I see it, this photograph of rocks could be a close-up of a tree trunk:

In the pareidolia department, does this other formation seem to any of you, as it does to me, like the blunted image of a face?

And in the back-to-reality department, notice the two sapling pine trees growing out of the rocks, one on each side of the “head” (the sapling on the right is hard to see at this size).

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 24, 2017 at 4:55 AM

New Zealand: three faces of Te Hoho

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On March 7th we visited Cathedral Cove, a scenic tourist attraction on the Coromandel Peninsula. The ThousandWonders website says this: “The cliffs surrounding Cathedral Cove are made of white massive ignimbrite, a rock produced by explosive volcanic eruptions about eight million years ago. A little offshore is a pinnacle of pumice breccia rock, known as ‘Te Hoho’. Centuries of wind and water has shaped this rock to look like a ship’s prow approaching the beach.”

How you release your inner pareidolia depends on the place from which you view Te Hoho. As I kept moving to the left of the position from which I took the first photograph, I saw the rock take on a second and then a third shape.

From the second position I seemed to see a giant cowboy boot. Nothing particular suggested itself to me from the first position or the third, but you may have visions you’d like to describe.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 2, 2017 at 4:53 AM

New Zealand: arenaceous* pareidolia**

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I don’t want to influence you so I won’t say what I see in this downward view of the sand on the beach at Moeraki. I didn’t see it on February 27th when I took the picture, but only weeks later on my computer screeen back in Austin. Let’s compare visions: voice yours.

– – – – – – – – –

* arenaceous

** pareidolia

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 13, 2017 at 5:02 AM

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