Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘red

Two experiments

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When I worked at the base of a cliff along the Capital of Texas Highway on June 27th, some of my pictures were experiments in abstraction. In the one above, I noticed that several cattail leaves (Typha domingensis) had dried out to the point that they turned white, and I played an in-focus leaf off against a few out-of-focus ones. A couple of hundred feet away I noticed that some leaflets on a flameleaf sumac tree (Rhus lanceolata) had turned prematurely red. Not only that, but the breeze was blowing the branches about, so I decided to go with the (air)flow and do some long exposures that would make the movement a key element. The picture below, taken at 1/6 of a second, flaunts its rich red; in contrast, the first photo is close to black and white.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 7, 2020 at 4:39 AM

All yellow

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Normally the flower heads of Gaillardia pulchella, known as firewheel and Indian blanket, have red rays with yellow tips. Every once in a while you get a flower head whose rays are completely yellow. In the full-size version of the first picture I counted four of them (and could distinguish them from the yellow greenthread flower heads mixed in). The second photograph gives you a much closer look at an all-yellow firewheel. Both views are from a “vacant” lot in northwest Austin on May 19.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2020 at 4:31 AM

Sound the trumpet

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On May 26th ominous clouds made me give up taking pictures in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183. The next morning I went back and resumed photographing native plants there. One I found was a trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, with both flowers and buds. The buds were more heavily covered with dewdrops and made better portrait subjects. I estimate this bud was about 2 inches (5 cm) long.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 9, 2020 at 4:43 AM

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How something can land

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On May 1st we went walking in our neighborhood. A few blocks from home I noticed that a drupe from a yaupon tree (Ilex vomitoria) had fallen onto an agave and gotten caught in the crook of one of the plant’s thorns. How long had the little fruit been trapped like that? Perhaps a few days, given how shriveled it was.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 21, 2020 at 4:29 AM

Red and green

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Another thing I photographed at the Doeskin Ranch on April 8th
was this scarlet leatherflower (Clematis texensis).
Below you see how a bud develops.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2020 at 4:43 AM

Looking down

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The portrait you recently saw of a bluebonnet looked up at its subject. On the same February 29th outing along the Capital of Texas Highway by the Arboretum I looked almost straight down at an Indian paintrush, Castilleja indivisa. The red elements are all bracts, not petals; the actual flowers are small and inconspicuous.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 5, 2020 at 4:57 PM

3000!

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WordPress says this is my 3000th post! If I can mix metaphors, that’s a lot of pictures under the bridge (or more accurately, processed in Adobe Bridge). As for today’s portrait in red, it’s from my neighborhood on January 18th and shows a cluster of drupes on a possumhaw tree (Ilex decidua) still wet from rain.

The mathematically attuned among you will forgive me for using a post title that could be misconstrued as 3000 factorial. The context makes it clear that I couldn’t be referring to that enormous number, which takes 9131 digits to write down. If you’re curious, you can read through them all.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 9, 2020 at 4:48 AM

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Again a bird and Niagara Falls without the falls

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On July 25th we stayed on the American side of Niagara Falls late enough to get a colorful sky while walking back to our car. And so ends the series of pictures from our visit to Niagara Falls.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 16, 2019 at 4:43 AM

More cardinal flowers

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Ms. Liz, MelissaBlue and Michael Scandling were up for seeing more cardinal flowers, so here are two group portraits of Lobelia cardinalis that I made along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 26th. Notice how the quality of the red ends up different depending on where the sun is coming from, what’s in the background, and how the camera’s sensor and computer render those things. Then, of course, the processing software adds its interpretation, as does the processor, a.k.a. me.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 2, 2019 at 4:30 PM

A good time for cardinal flowers

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Above is a rather trippy picture—thanks to all those orbs in the background—of a happy cardinal flower plant (Lobelia cardinalis) along Bull Creek on September 7th. Below you get a closer look at a budding plant there.

Now it’s three weeks later and the cardinal flowers along Bull Creek continue to have a good time, with new plants still flowering. If any of you folks are dying to see more pictures of cardinal flowers, let me know and I’ll yield to unremitting reader pressure.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 30, 2019 at 4:41 AM

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