Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘pareidolia

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

Skull rock again

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For some unknown reason the e-mail version of the Skull Rock post didn’t go out this morning, so I re-sent the post and succeeded the second time.

skull-rock-1279

A popular formation at Joshua Tree National Park is Skull Rock. This photograph from November 5th, 2016, shows you the pareidolic reason the boulder is called what it is.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2017 at 6:03 AM

Skull rock

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skull-rock-1279

A popular formation at Joshua Tree National Park is Skull Rock. This photograph from November 5th, 2016, shows you the pareidolic reason the boulder is called what it is.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 4, 2017 at 4:59 AM

Wupatki National Monument

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wupatki-landscape-4000

Continuing north in Arizona from Sunset Crater on October 21, 2016, we soon came to Wupatki National Monument, which we, like most people, visited for its Indian ruins. As a photographer, I appreciated the place for its desert landscapes as well.

On a horizontal rock surface at the site I found a feature that could pass as the inspiration for Rorschach inkblots. What does it say of me if I see this as the fossil of a spiny fish? Chime in if you’d like to say how you see it.

dark-patterns-on-horizontal-rock-surface-3947

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 25, 2017 at 4:57 AM

I would have missed them if I’d missed them.

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Mountain Pinks Flowering on Cliff Face 9449

Our three-week trip to the Midwest in June took me out of Austin during the prime season for mountain pinks (Centaurium beyrichii). I hadn’t seen any before I left and didn’t know whether I’d see any after I returned. Fortunately I did, as confirmed by this picture from June 27th on the west side of Capital of Texas Highway just north of Champion Grandview Way. The pareidolia partisans among you can consider this photograph an Austin take on Mount Rushmore. For those of you who are more down-to-earth, below is a closer look at one of those flowering mountain pink plants.

Mountain Pink Flowers 9475

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 10, 2016 at 4:46 AM

1/8000 of a second

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Turbulent Water in Creek 1815

After the rain finally stopped on April 21st, I spent a while in the main tributary of Bull Creek that flows through Great Hills Park, as you saw last time. To photograph some of the whitewater there I set a shutter speed of 1/8000 of a second. For several years I’ve had cameras capable of that fast a shutter speed but hadn’t ever gone down to such a narrow sliver of time. The point was to stop the action of the water that was moving much too fast for the human eye and brain to distinguish details. One consequence of so very brief an exposure was my need to use flash to get enough light for a decent picture.

If you want to play the pareidolia game again, I’ll suggest a side view of a rightward-facing elephant getting a shampoo. If that’s too fanciful and you’d like to stay in the real world, click the excerpt below for a better look at some of the turbulent water at 1/8000 of a second.

Turbulent Water in Creek 1815A

 

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 31, 2016 at 5:04 AM

False dayflower, false face

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False Dayflower Flower 1321

Pareidolia, as I learned from a comment last month about the photograph of a rock formation that looked to me like an animal, is a phenomenon in which the mind creates an image of a certain thing from unrelated features of something else. When I was in McKinney Falls State Park on April 15th I struck up a conversation with a man who I saw taking nature pictures and who turned out to be visiting from Alabama. He asked me about a little flower he’d photographed that looked to him like a face. From the image he showed me on the back of his camera I saw that it was Tinantia anomala, known as false dayflower to distinguish it from a related genus whose members are known as dayflowers. The title of today’s post aside, you can decide for yourselves how false or true a face this flower has (and did you notice that those last nine words were in iambic pentameter?).

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 3, 2016 at 5:07 AM

Illusions

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Two days ago, a post at Pairodox included a photograph in which part of a rock appears to be the head of a bear. Today being April 1, a day on which people celebrate illusions, it seems appropriate—and not at all paradoxical—to follow up with a picture from Great Hills Park on July 17th of last year. I won’t influence you by telling you what animal I saw here; you’re free to use your own imagination.

Rock Looking Like Animal's Head 1968A

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 1, 2016 at 5:06 AM

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