Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘sky

Dark lenticular clouds

with 38 comments

On May 24th Jane Lurie put out a post with six photographs. One showed lenticular clouds, and I commented that I’ve hardly ever seen clouds like that in Austin. Two days later I went out in the morning to do some nature pictures on the soggy land in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183. I found plenty of flowers to photograph and quickly got caught up in what I was doing. After maybe half an hour I was startled to hear thunder. When I looked up to the south I saw that the sky had gotten very dark and dramatic clouds had formed, including some I took to be lenticular. (Coincidentally or not, the last time I’d seen clouds like those was in the very same part of Austin.) As I was standing out in the open on wet ground, I figured prudence was the better part of valor and high-tailed it out of there, stopping only briefly to take some pictures of the clouds on my way back to the car.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 27, 2020 at 4:37 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

A world turned upside down

with 22 comments

The post’s title may go for our human world, too, but it’s meant for this four-nerve daisy (Tetraneuris sp.) that I found along Q Ranch Rd. on May 2nd. The ray florets in these daisies normally fold back and turn from yellow to white as they age. Whether any of that process happened after the stalk got broken and the flower head was upside down, I don’t know. I do know that the fast-moving clouds and the breeze made lining things up the way I wanted difficult. As a result I took about 30 pictures from various angles, expecting that in at least a few frames both the focus and the composition would come out okay. You’re looking at one that worked for me.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 24, 2020 at 4:43 AM

Gaura by any other name

with 24 comments

The bottom portion of this portrait may let you imagine you’re in the mountains. For good or ill, I was only in the hills of northwest Austin on April 26th.

Botanists have done away with the genus Gaura, transferring all its members to Oenothera. This photograph may show the former Gaura coccinea, now Oenthera suffrutescens. The common name would still be scarlet gaura. Time for Shakespeare again: that which we call gaura, by any other name would look as strange.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 9, 2020 at 4:29 AM

Sibonga sunsets

with 18 comments

As you heard a few posts back, on December 23rd last year I wanted to see what the sunset along Sibonga’s waterfront might look like. What put the idea in my head was that on December 15th we’d been at the town square not far from the shore and I’d taken a few sunset pictures on my iPhone, including this one:

Late in the afternoon on the 23rd we walked out to the tip of the pier that juts into the Cebu Strait. Here’s one of the first pictures I took of the developing sunset:

Twelve minutes later, the view east toward Bohol had turned a pleasant rosy blue:

And six minutes after that we saw a more orange view looking west, back toward the town:

Notice how shades of gray distinguish “layers” of hills.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Rust and paint patterns on the Sibonga pier

with 35 comments

Late in the afternoon on December 23, 2019, we walked out to the tip of the Sibonga pier that juts into the Cebu Strait in hopes that we might enjoy a good sunset. While waiting, I got intrigued by the rust and paint patterns on the structures that boats tie up to. Not knowing what those things are called, I searched online. A few sites call objects like these bollards. A few other sites refer to them as mooring dolphins. Perhaps there’s not one universally accepted term in English. Anyone who knows is welcome to tell us.

Here’s a closer and more abstract view of the first one:

Could patterns like these have inspired the Abstract Expressionist painters?

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 18, 2020 at 4:39 AM

Sunset from the Quest Hotel

with 19 comments

From our room in Cebu City‘s Quest Hotel on December 18th we saw this good sunset.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 1, 2020 at 4:48 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

Rhapsody in Blue at the Palladium Hotel

with 48 comments

At Coron in the Philippine province of Palawan we stayed at the Palladium Hotel,
whose design harkens back to buildings on the Greek island of Santorini.

On December 14th, before we left for the airport to fly back to Cebu City,
I tried out compositions that played off the morning’s wispy clouds against the hotel.
Sometimes elements of the hotel became my primary subjects.

Even bubbling water in the swimming pool made for a blue abstraction.

Just thought I’d give you something different for a change.
Actually I’ve been making pictures like these since decades before my emphasis on nature and native plants.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 11, 2020 at 4:24 AM

Dead trees

with 26 comments

On November 1st we were heading north from Kerrville on TX 16 when I caught a glimpse of a solitary dead tree and went back to check it out. Once there, I looked in the opposite direction and noticed other dead trees that leaned in strange directions. They reminded me of scragglier and therefore pictorially more interesting dead trees that had fascinated me at Mesa Verde in 2014.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 27, 2019 at 4:41 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

Smartweed and blue sky

with 34 comments

On August 29th I found plenty of smartweed plants (Polygonum sp.)
flowering on the wet ground at the edge of the Riata Trace Pond in northwest Austin.
I was careless enough to get part of one shoe wet while hunching down to make my portraits.
Still, you needn’t worry about your monitor: I made sure today’s photo was thoroughly dry before posting it.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 31, 2019 at 4:25 AM

Varieties of wispy clouds

with 19 comments

On February 18th it began with a sort of linear yin-yang created by a contrail:

At two other locations in my neighborhood I continued photographing the wispy clouds.

I was fascinated by how varied they were.

I ended up with dozens of pictures.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2019 at 4:37 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

%d bloggers like this: