Nearby: Re-reflection confusion

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Although I love nature and the outdoors, I have become to really enjoy photography in man-made environments. When I photograph in and around my home, in Zurich, I have to make do with subjects that may not be highly attractive and interesting per se, but which I can try to capture in a way that I find more interesting than the overall scene and subject itself. Thereby, my nearby photography makes me a more conscious observer of my environment and sharpens my eye for tiny details of beauty within the city desert of concrete and glass. Searching, seeing, composing, and creating photographs of hidden, beautiful details makes me a happier person and, I believe, a better photographer.
The nearby photograph shared here is very similar to the one shown recently. It has also been created  at the skyscrapers on Hagenholzstrasse and similarly features patterns of reflections, re-reflections, and shadows. This composition also illustrates the value of returning to the same subject again and again: I have visited these buildings many times this year, under all kinds of conditions and light, and the photograph above is one of my favorites so far.
This re-reflection confusion can be found in the light and shadow gallery as well as in the nearby collection.

2014/11/19 by Florian Freimoser
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Flora: Hungarian Gentian - Gentiana pannonica

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This Hungarian Gentian was photographed in the Bavarian Alps, on a mountain where I knew these beautiful, sightly plants to abound. Gentiana pannonica is a notable gentian in at least two ways: It has purple-magenta colored flowers (not blue) that are grouped in the axilla or at the top, and their stems reach over half a meter in height. The plants propagate clonally and thus sizable populations may cover alpine meadows. An impressive sight!

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The speckled, magenta-purple flowers of Gentiana pannonica

Gentiana pannonica is an alpine plant that occurs in the eastern alps (one of its German names is  "eastern alps gentian") and the western border of its distribution lies in eastern Switzerland. However, there is a very similar, by the looks almost identical, species, Gentiana purpurea, that lives in the western alps. The Hungarian Gentian is thus a vicariant species: one of (at least) two closely related species that are separated geographically or ecologically and thus do not interbreed.

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Sepals and petals of Tulipa sylvestris ssp. australis.

Like many other species of the genus Gentiana, the Hungarian Gentian has been used as a medicinal plant as well as to produce Schnaps. Gentian roots apparently contain some of the most bitter substances known and are used for treating digestive disorders and other afflictions. Due to their beneficial and desirable effects, Gentiana pannonica roots used to be collected assiduously, which has harmed the populations of this beautiful plant. The IUCN red list labels the species as "near threatened", while in some countries, for example the Czech Republic and Switzerland, it is even listed as "endangered".

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Gentiana pannonica bud

I think the large purple-magenta flowers, laced with tiny dark spots, are really beautiful and exceptional. In the three last photographs, the one above and the following two, you can see all the stages of budding and blossoming. At first, the flowers literally seem screwed down, then the large petals slowly unwind, and in the last photograph the creamy yellow center of the flower is exposed.

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An unwinding Gentiana pannonica flower

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A fully opened blossom of Gentiana pannonica

2014/11/16 by Florian Freimoser
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Leafcolors 4: Maple green beams

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Another leaf that has fallen before all its chlorophyll was degraded. The bright autumn colors are not generated in fall in order to attract photographers and tourists, but simply revealed as the dominant color of the green chlorophyll slowly clears away. The bright yellow, red, and orange tones were just hidden behind a green curtain. In this particular maple leaf, the green seems caught in the act of dissipating and I really like the remaining green beams. Also have a look at the interesting color patterns of other leaves shown in the leafcolor gallery (all of which are not photographs, but scans of fallen leaves).

2014/11/13 by Florian Freimoser
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Watercolors 12: Calanque d'En Vau 3

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This is already the third Calanque d'En Vau watercolor composition. It has been taken from the same spot as the tow other examples (Calanque d'En Vau 1 and 2). In this photograph, the blue of the crystal clear water is blended with the grey reflections of the limestone cliffs.
More watercolor compositions have been shown in earlier blog posts and are presented in a dedicated online gallery.

2014/11/10 by Florian Freimoser
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October 2014 print: Autumn browns with chamois

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I am again late to present my monthly print, but the photograph shown here has not only been printed, but also taken in October. We were on a long hike to the Gamsjoch, a rocky summit in the Karwendel, when a herd of almost 70 chamois crossed our path and grazed along the valley slopes. Those of you who understand German realize that the summit's name is most fitting: Gamsjoch translates as "chamois saddle". Our children complained the disorderly distribution of the animals, which made counting difficult. After many counts and deliberations, we agreed on the number 69. The 16 animals in the October 2014 print were part of this huge chamois flock that, I believe, consisted of female and young animals (we could even watch some of them still suckling). Further along during the hike, we kept seeing more and more chamois and even a few ibex and a snow grouse (ptarmigan); but no fellow hiker. What an exceptional day!
Although the colors of this photographs are not flashy and bright, they are nevertheless typically autumnal. I really like the different shades of brown and yellow of the grass, with a slight hint of red, that the chamois complete with they dark brownish winter fur.
Also have a look at my earlier prints or suggest a photograph to be printed!

2014/11/07 by Florian Freimoser
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