Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘water

Paint Pots in Kootenay National Park

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A year ago today we stopped to visit the Paint Pots in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park. The “paint” is ochre, which permeates the earth there. Parts of the ground are sodden, and in some places water flows over the ochred earth.

It was common to see dead trees fallen across the rivulets.

We followed the trail past the scenes shown in the first three photographs and ultimately came to a picturesque pond ringed with ochre. Notice—as if you could miss it—the approximate ellipse implied by the curved dead tree and its reflection.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 8, 2018 at 4:41 AM

September 4, 2017

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September 4, 2017, proved a long and adventuresome day in the Canadian Rockies. A couple of hours after heading north from Calgary we entered Banff National Park, where among intriguingly many other things I photographed the cloud-bannered fortress of rock shown in the first image. Call it Mount Rundle and you could be right.

Along the noisy edge of the Trans-Canada Highway I photographed some late-stage fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) divorced from its mountainy context.

By early afternoon we reached the famous Bow Lake.

At the far end of the day, as we headed east from Jasper to Hinton, I photographed burned trees with no water in sight.

Then, further along and with little daylight left, I found other trees not obviously charred but still seemingly dead that stood next to as much water as they could have wanted when alive. The way the water reflected the trees appealed to me.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 4, 2018 at 4:40 AM

Cascade Ponds

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“These algae looked like… mosaic art to me!” is how one online reviewer described what he saw when looking down from a little bridge into the water of Cascade Ponds outside Banff, Alberta, in the fall of 2017. When we visited on September 2nd of that year I confirmed the mosaic look and also the presence of what another online writer called “neon green algae.” That green life had lots of abstract photographic appeal for me, though whether it was a sign of ecological health or distress, I don’t know.

What I do know is that Cascade Ponds was a good place to photograph the adjacent Cascade Mountain. Notice how water in fact cascades down the mountain in a chain of waterfalls.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 2, 2018 at 4:42 AM

Fallingwater, falling light

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After decades of reading articles and seeing documentaries about it, on June 14th we finally made our way to Mill Run, Pennsylvania, for Fallingwater, the house that the architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed to straddle a waterfall rather than sit alongside it. The places where I most wanted to stand for pictures, the base of the main waterfall and the banks of the creek flowing away from it, unfortunately remain off limits to visitors. I can’t show you the pictures I might have made, so here instead are a few idiosyncratic takes on light and shadow at Fallingwater.

While I couldn’t look up from the base of the falls, I could and did aim straight down from the top.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 22, 2018 at 4:54 AM

As with ferns, so with rocks

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Austin doesn’t offer rock formations anywhere near as grand as the ones I recently saw along the Atlantic coast in Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Nevertheless, on a smaller scale, some structures here are worth looking at.

From the same stretch along Capital of Texas Highway that provided the fern pictures in the previous post, you’re now looking at the cliff’s patterns and textures as I photographed them on June 24th.

I took almost all my pictures in a vertical orientation to align with the downward dripping and flowing of water as it seeped out of the rocks.

I figure the forms in the last two portraits might lead us to form, on the model of the portraitist whose models’ forms are said to be Rubenesque, the adjective seepesque.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2018 at 6:38 PM

What a wave

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Our first contact with Maine’s Acadia National Park came on June 8th. That afternoon, arriving from New Brunswick, we visited the Schoodic section of the park, which is not connected to the main part across the Mt. Desert Narrows. Like other sites we’d already been to on the Atlantic coast, this one had rocky outcrops standing against the sea. In one place I noticed how the rocks caused crashing waves to hurl their water upward.

The difficulty for a photographer was that incoming waves didn’t consistently break in the same spot, so it was hard to know where to aim. I chose a high shutter speed, put the camera in a mode that would take several pictures a second, and then stood waiting, looking through the viewfinder in the direction where some waves had already splashed up, hoping my reflexes would be good enough to press the shutter release button as soon as a wave seemed to be beginning to break. Given the difficulties, most of the resulting pictures didn’t turn out great. Still, I was happy with a few of them. The one I chose to show here pleases me because, while we usually think of waves as horizontal, the water in this one formed a vertical arc. If you look beyond the wave, you might reasonably think you’re seeing portions of a man-made wall; in fact those rocks were all natural.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 8, 2018 at 4:47 AM

No flowers, buds, plants, grasses, trees, seeds, or bugs

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Bubbles at Base of Small Waterfall in Creek 7986

Doesn’t this flowing water at the base of a small waterfall in Great Hills Park on July 18, 2014, look like ice?

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 18, 2018 at 4:43 AM

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