Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘stone

3-D

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Here’s something different: a stereo* pair I took at a quarry in Cedar Park on September 14, 1980—40 years ago today! To see the image in 3-D, I suggest you get about 15 inches away from the screen and line each eye up with the matching half of the pair. Look straight ahead, then relax your eyes. Once you get used to things, the left half should drift a bit to the left, the right half a bit to the right, and in between them should appear a fused image of the two halves. If you manage to discern that middle image, your brain will interpret it as 3-D and you’ll see the big slab and the boulders behind it as having depth; the cloud was too far away from the foreground to have any depth. People’s vision varies enormously, so to get 3-D you may have to enlarge or shrink the images on your screen, or view the screen from closer or farther away, or put on or take off glasses, or drink a magic potion. Whatever you do, don’t close one eye; it takes two eyes to see 3-D, which is why we have two eyes. (People who have lost the sight of one eye or close one eye retain their sense of how things look in the physical world and may imagine they’re still seeing in 3-D, but they aren’t.)

Here’s a related fact for today: well-known movies filmed in 3-D include “House of Wax” (1953), “Kiss Me Kate” (1953), “It Came from Outer Space (1953), “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954), and “Dial M for Murder” (1954).

* We’ve grown up with the word stereo referring to music played through two speakers. More than a century before scientists applied the term to sound, though, they applied it to sight. The Greek original meant ‘solid,’ and solidity, i.e. three-dimensionality, is what a photographic stereo pair conveys.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 14, 2020 at 4:31 AM

Inside Carlsbad Caverns

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On June 14th last year we visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 14, 2018 at 4:40 AM

More of the world below

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More visual notes from the underground in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park on June 14th.

It took aeons for an inorganic process, dripping water, to deposit the minerals that built up these intricate formations. Nevertheless, don’t their tops remind you of the branching growth patterns seen in a living organism like broccoli?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 24, 2017 at 4:40 AM

The world below

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750 feet underground in Carlsbad Caverns National Park lie the caverns. When we visited a couple of decades ago we didn’t think that much of them. On June 14th of this year we took the 1.25-mile self-guided walk through what’s called the Big Room and found its formations quite impressive. The caverns haven’t changed in 20 years. It seems we have.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 23, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Some colorful geology on a small scale

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Nothing in Austin is going to compare to the Badlands of South Dakota. Sorry, Austin, that’s just how it is. Still, we have some much smaller geological formations here that warrant a look. One is a long limestone slab that arches up and then out over a creek in my Great Hills neighborhood. Historically, of course, aeons of water flowing through the creek eroded the limestone to create the overhang. The back wall, which I don’t think ever gets direct sunlight, stays rather dark even during the brightest part of the day. When I went there on June 29th, I stood facing the wall and used flash to reveal the colors and patterns of the always damp and sometimes wet stone.

No more than a hundred feet to the right of the formations shown here are the mud dauber wasp tubes some of you may remember from five years ago. Two years after that, I showed something that wasn’t a tuft of hair on the underside of the overhang.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 9, 2017 at 4:54 AM

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

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Just a mile south of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is Red Rock Canyon Open Space. While its formations aren’t nearly as well known nor as extensive or impressive, the rocks do offer up some pleasant colors and intricate patterns. Here are two panels of stone that caught my attention on June 7th. As far as I know, the hole in the center of the second picture is natural.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2017 at 4:49 AM

Nebraska like Antarctica

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Okay, there are times when Nebraska gets really cold, but not that cold. No, it’s not temperature I have in mind: don’t you think that the outline of these lichens is like that of Antarctica? Following in the footsteps of Amundsen, I strode to the top of Scott’s Bluff National Monument on May 28th and metaphorically planted my photographic flag there.

If you’d like a much closer look at a portion of these lichens, click to expand this excerpt:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 21, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Another unconventional view of a national monument

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On the morning of May 30th, two days before bedeviling Devil’s Tower, we’d rushed to Mt. Rushmore, where along with more-conventional pictures I took this one looking up at a portion of the famous monument from a cleft between boulders.

But this is a nature photography blog, so here, likewise from Mt. Rushmore, is the different yet somehow similar white of a truncated trunk sculpted by nature rather than people.

Standing Tree Trunk Remains White and Broken 2538B

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 13, 2017 at 5:00 AM

The background moves to the foreground

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The white in the background at the top of yesterday’s photograph came from the rocky cliffs along Capital of Texas Highway north of FM 2222. The most recent cliff faces were formed about 40 years ago when the roadbed was cut through for the highway.

In the four decades since then, the forces of rain, seep water, gravity, wind, sun, bacteria, and no doubt other things have been at work in some places to alter the vertical face of the exposed rocks. This post shows three of those textured areas as they looked on June 19th.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 30, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Alibates flint

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I’d be remiss if I mentioned the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, as I did last time, without showing you a piece of that flint.

And below is a different take on orange and brown at that same site in the northern reaches of the Texas Panhandle.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 22, 2017 at 4:43 AM

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