Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘waves

Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve

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Two years ago today we stopped along the Pacific Ocean in California at the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve. The first photograph shows you waves breaking toward the shore, moving white mimics of the dark hills fixed beyond them. The second picture show how an occasional wave made it over a rise on the beach and into a shallow depression, there to creep along with a frothy yellow fringe.

Walking away from the surf, I sought out patterns in the dunes and clouds:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 4, 2018 at 4:27 AM

New Zealand: kelp in surf at Bluff

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On February 24th we stopped at Stirling Point in Bluff, the southernmost town on the South Island. The bull kelp (Durvillaea antarctica or D. poha) swayed back and forth as the waves rolled in and the water flowed quickly out again. The movement fascinated me to the point that I took over 200 pictures of it in a quest for the ultimately compelling configuration. I don’t think there is an ultimately compelling configuration, but here’s a view of the swirling kelp photographed at 1/640th of a second.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 9, 2017 at 4:50 AM

California and Texas

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With about 39 million people, California is the most populous state in the United States. Texas comes in second with around 28 million people. Both are still strongly growing.

When it comes to physical size, the order is reversed. Texas is the nation’s second largest state, covering almost 268,600 square miles, while California ranks third at close to 163,700 square miles. Alaska is larger than those two combined, with an area of some 663,000 square miles, but that enormous—and enormously cold—state claims only 740,000 inhabitants, or roughly 230,000 less than the city of Austin.

I’ve never set foot in Alaska, and most of the pictures on this blog have been from Texas, so here come another two photographs from California. The first shows Pacific Ocean waves breaking at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve on November 4th last year.


Click for larger size.

A nearby look in a different direction revealed waves of sand.


Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 1, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Two wide views at Morro Bay in the morning

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On November 4th, a couple of hours after I’d looked across the inlet toward the sunrise colors around Morro Rock, we checked out of our hotel and drove over to go walking around the base of the rock, as plenty of other people were doing. Mist hung over Morro Bay, as you see above, while a glance in a different direction revealed waves crashing over a jetty.


(If you’d like to see the Lady Eve in that second place, you can.)

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 15, 2016 at 3:30 AM

Last visit to Illinois Beach State Park

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Wave Crashing Against Lake Michigan Shore 7988

Two months ago today, when we made our last visit to Illinois Beach State Park, we explored an area farther north than where we’d stayed at the Illinois Beach Resort. The highlight this time was a small stretch where the waves coming westward on Lake Michigan crashed against the shore and shot straight up. The water surged so quickly that as a photographer I adopted a strategy of setting the camera to a high shutter speed (in this case 1/2000 of a second) and taking lots of pictures in the hope that at least a few would capture the action. This one gives you a pretty good feel for what was happening.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 14, 2016 at 3:57 AM

New Zealand: One second in the life of the surf at Mount Maunganui

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Thanks to my camera’s burst mode, these four consecutive frames cover approximately one second in the breaking of a wave on the coastal rocks at Mount Maunganui on February 25th.

Surf Crashing on Rocks 7703

Surf Crashing on Rocks 7704

Surf Crashing on Rocks 7705

Surf Crashing on Rocks 7706

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 17, 2015 at 5:14 AM

New Zealand: Rough and roughly pyramidal

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Coastal Rockscape 6157

While exploring the shore along Moa Point Rd. near Wellington’s airport on February 20th, I stopped to photograph this rough and roughly pyramidal rock on Fitzroy Bay. Getting to a good vantage point was a little rough as well.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 10, 2015 at 5:29 AM

Australasian gannets

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Gannet Colony on Seaside Boulder 3744

Probably the main reason people go to Muriwai on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, aside from the beach itself, is the Australasian gannets (known in Māori as tākapu and in biospeak as Morus serrator) nesting on the rocks there, and that was indeed my little group’s purpose for visiting on February 7th. I took this photograph with a telephoto lens from a path on one of the surrounding bluffs where people are allowed to walk, but the nesting areas themselves are out of bounds. (Just as well, I might add, because even before you can see where the gannets are nesting, the smell downwind is strong and unpleasant.)

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 18, 2015 at 5:11 AM

Another Muriwai seascape

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Seascape at Muriwai 3494

All right, so here’s another seascape from Muriwai on the west coast of the North Island on February 7th. Ten days later, on the west coast of the South Island, I found myself in the company of some French visitors who had come off a tour bus, and at one point I heard a woman who was taking pictures say to her friend that she doesn’t like vertical landscapes. I briefly interjected myself into the conversation and said that for me it amounts to the same thing. I’ll grant that for technical reasons (particularly depth of field) it’s often easier to get a good horizontal landscape, and our minds may be predisposed to like panoramas, but all the more reason for striving to give vertical landscapes their due. Okay, landscape photographers (and viewers), you’ve got your topic, so chime in if you’re of a mind to.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2015 at 12:57 PM

Muriwai seascape

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Seascape at Muriwai 3527

I’ve mentioned feeling that I couldn’t get enough of the ocean around New Zealand, so I’ll be sure to keep sprinkling the upcoming botanical pictures with views from various places along the coast. Here’s a seascape from Muriwai on the west coast of the North Island on February 7th. The water is the Tasman Sea, a portion of the Pacific Ocean that lies between Australia (think Tasmania) and New Zealand.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2015 at 5:57 AM

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