Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘waterfall

Ithaca Falls revisited

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On this date last year we spent some pleasant time at Ithaca Falls in Ithaca, New York. I really don’t like shooting up toward a white sky, and the one we had that morning led to me take most of my pictures as tight abstractions of the rocks and water. In this one I used a shutter speed of 1/2000 of a second in an attempt to stop the water in mid-fall and mid-splash; it worked pretty well. If you’d like a closer look at some of the Hokusai action, click the excerpt below.

It wasn’t just the falls that were impressive. Adjacent to them I photographed a natural (I assume) rock formation so geometric you could be forgiven for thinking that people had had a part in creating it:

And now that geometry has entered the picture, here’s a semi-related observation for today: If a person says that the diagonals of any rectangle bisect each other (which they do), the statement remains true no matter who the person is, what background the person has, what day of the week the statement was made on, what the weather was at the time, what town or country the statement was made in, why the person made the statement, who it was said to, or what use someone else might put the statement to. Offering up those irrelevancies or any others as reasons to deny the truth of the statement is folly, or worse, malice.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 31, 2020 at 4:44 AM

Niagara Falls abstraction

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From this date a year ago, here’s an abstract view of Niagara Falls.

Vaguely related quotation for today: “Ce monde-ci est un vaste naufrage; sauve qui peut; mais je suis bien loin du rivage!” “This world is a vast shipwreck; save yourself if you can; but I’m very far from the shore!” Voltaire wrote those words in a letter in 1754. Unfortunately this quotation often circulates on the Internet in a reworked form with a modern Pollyanna-ish addition about singing in the lifeboats that reverses the sense of what Voltaire said in his letter.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 25, 2020 at 4:46 AM

Stone Bridge Falls on Bull Creek

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On the 10th of July I followed the Smith Memorial Trail to Stone Bridge Falls on Bull Creek. The picture above shows the creek immediately upstream of the falls. (I could almost imagine I was back on the Bojo River in Cebu.) The yellow flowers are roughstem rosinweed, Silphium radula; you get a closer look at one below.

And how could I not show the waterfall? Here’s a picture in
Steve G.’s accustomed mode, with a shutter speed of 1/3 second.
I think you’ll agree that’s a long time for a hand-held shot.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 20, 2020 at 4:47 AM

Kawasan Falls

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On December 16th we crossed over to the west side of Cebu and went down to Kawasan Falls. It swarmed with tourists, the people who run it charge for every little thing, and the water has been partially diverted from the falls. Nevertheless, here are two views of the place, one vertical and the other horizontal, one full-length and the other truncated, one at a slow shutter speed and the other at a high shutter speed.

Here’s the area adjacent to the falls:

On the walk back I couldn’t help noticing a decaying palm frond in the river that flows out from the falls.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 20, 2020 at 4:37 PM

Not many people at Niagara Falls

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Okay, so this post’s title is misleading; in fact hordes of tourists were at Niagara Falls when we visited on July 25th. Nevertheless, not many people at Niagara Falls photograph the plants there, but you could count on me to get a few botanical pictures. The first one shows swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium). In the second photo you’re seeing fruit clusters on a staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina).

Thanks to horticulturalists at the New York State Parks Department for identifying the species of the milkweed and the sumac. I didn’t ask them to try to figure out the identity of the tree whose remains you see standing below; perhaps it was another sumac.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 12, 2019 at 4:36 AM

American Falls in warm light

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Whether you call it late afternoon or early evening, the warm light near 7PM on July 25th enhanced Niagara’s American Falls. The dark area across the upper right is the embankment on the Canadian side of the Niagara River that we’d visited earlier in the day. I’ve added another view as a reminder of the way different vantage points and compositions change the feel of a scene. The black specks in the second image are distant birds.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 5, 2019 at 4:28 PM

Two birds soaring at Niagara Falls on July 25th

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© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2019 at 4:43 AM

Inanimate and animate on the brink of the abyss

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So it’s our first close approach to Niagara’s American Falls on July 25th, and I’m noticing a tree limb on the brink of the waterfall. Eppur non si muove, and yet it doesn’t move, despite the rushing water.

And these Canada geese are calmly sure of themselves so close to the abyss:

Thanks to Shannon Westveer for identifying the birds.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 29, 2019 at 4:37 AM

Falling into abstraction

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On July 25th in Niagara Falls, Ontario, I took many pictures—hardly surprising for one of the world’s natural wonders. Back in Texas a few weeks later I sorted through the photographs, seeing for the first time in detail what I’d managed to capture. In the images for which I’d used a telephoto lens zoomed to its maximum length of 400mm, clouds of spray had often masked details, pushing some of the photographs toward and into abstraction. Pictures like the one below reminded me of seascapes by the English painter J.M.W. Turner.

Notice that unlike the pictures in the introductory Niagara Falls post a few days ago, these are strictly nature photographs and show no people or human elements at all.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 27, 2019 at 3:55 AM

The first shall be last

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The first and mightiest of the waterfalls we visited during our trip to the Northeast is now the last to put in an appearance here. On the morning of July 25th we left the Toronto area, came around the west end of Lake Ontario, and in under an hour and a half found ourselves at Niagara Falls. People generally consider the Ontario side more impressive than the New York side because they get to stand right at the edge of the place where the Niagara River pours over a long curving cliff to form Horseshoe Falls.

Skylon Tower

Because Niagara Falls is such a tourist magnet, I decided to do something unaccustomed today by showing pictures that prominently include human elements along with natural ones. Intermittent posts over the next couple of weeks will feature views of nature in its own right at Niagara Falls.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2019 at 4:39 AM

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