A closer look

March 18, 2011

This is my contribution to Scott Thomas Photography´s Assignment on close-up photography :


It is so worthwhile and amazing to take a closer look at things around us. Walking along a mountain path during the week, I tried to look more closely at nature and man-made environment. Here are  a few images I felt like sharing.

A knurl like a spiral in a wooden fence.

A natural sculpture and inspiring patterns on a birch tree trunk.

Spring is not here yet in the Alps. Those are the first buds I could spot on a bush.

Barely out of the snow, a tiny velvety flower  was creeping on a rock.

Spiky-looking needles that are as soft as wool when you touch them : a thick and soft carpet under my favourite tree, the larch.

In a  dry-stone wall  along a stream,  a colourful stone stood out:  white, grey, black, rust shades and rough textures under your fingers.

All pictures above have been taken in the macro mode of my camera, a Sony DSC-W5.

Once again, thank you Scott for this opportunity of looking differently, more closely at our environment.

39 Responses to “A closer look”

  1. Cindy said

    Absolutely stunning!

  2. Gerry said

    These are nice, Isa. They have a very touchable quality, from the satiny weathered wood to the rough stone of the wall. I’m impressed at how well you’re able to get your point&shoot to focus on what you want to look at!

    • “A touchable quality”, I like that. It is true that I touched wood, bark, stone, needles and flowers. I imagined this sort of materials would look good in close-up photography. Thanks Gerry.

  3. montucky said

    Beautiful selection, Isa! I especially like the knurl!

  4. These are brilliant Isa. And so much more is the thought behind them. All we need to do to appreciate one’s true beauty is take a closer look. A look beyond the range of a normal eye that sees nothing but whats visible and do not seek to find whats not. Really appreciate them.

  5. Marie said

    Hi Isabelle,
    What beauty you have captured! I see an “M” on the tree. 🙂
    I can “see” spring…beautiful ❤

  6. Giiid said

    Beautiful collection of nature elements, Isa, all of them interesting textures with harmonic expression. I love old wood like on your first photo, at this stage of its life, it has been used for it´s purpose a long time, and have stories to tell. A gray haired piece of wood. The bark and the stone are also very beautiful photos.

    • So glad to see you back, Birgitte, I was starting to get a bit worried. I love your expression “a gray haired piece of wood”, exactly what it was, a real old plank on a fence that has been there forever. Nature offers so much in terms of textures and harmony. Have a pleasant and relaxing Sunday,thank you for your words.

  7. Karma said

    Those spikey-looking needles are fascinating – they do not appear that they could feel soft to the touch! Love the velvety flower and the color in the stone. That seemed like too much for me to try to say en francais! 😉

  8. Robin said

    Very nice. They all have texture to them, something I really like. The first one has amazing detail to it.

  9. sartenada said

    Well done, Isa.

    The third from the top is just to my mind, although I love all of these photos. It is bursting life and is a sure mark of spring.

  10. Lovely Isa. I love the new buds – so soul satisfying for me.

  11. shoreacres said

    I’m amazed to find you referring to “larch”. I’ve heard and seen the word only a time or two in the past, and imagined it a misspelling or mispronunciation. Now I find my unfamiliarity is a result of geography – even in the US, it is a northern/mountainous tree that would be infinitely unhappy in the places where I have lived!

    As always, your photos are lovely. My favorite is the velvety-white flower, which reminds me of our bedding plant, “Dusty Miller”.

    • Thanks a lot, Linda. Larch trees are very common in the Swiss Alps and they are so beautiful ! Tall and majestic with wide branches. Contrary to the pine trees, their needles get coloured, all golden, in the Fall. Then they are bare in Winter and soon, when Spring will come up here, little pink/reddish buds will bring back life to them. A true wonder ! I will post some pictures for you.

      We have those pretty “Dusty Miller” white plants here too but the ones I took a picture of are not those. They are typical plants that grow on rocks; unfortunately I do not know their name but I may find it.

  12. Kathy said

    I like how you made your “closer look” very intimate and simple. (Perhaps closer looks are always intimate and simple.) My favorites are the needles and the knurl, or whorl, on the wood.

  13. marysquilt said

    All are very lovely.

    Mary W.

  14. Thanks a lot, dear Kathy. You are right. Once you look more closely at something, its real nature becomes intimate, simpler sometimes but also more complex at other times.

  15. Carsten said

    With so many comments preceeding mine there is a large probability for repeating what others have written.
    Anyway I like the variety you have picked. Your pictures cover a vide range of testures in interesting views.
    My favourite is the knurl in the first image. It is almost 3-dimensional. Rising from the ground level as a volcano.

  16. […] Isa, visiting the Alps, took a walk on a mountain path and, instead of looking at the immense outer beauty, she focused on the beauty of the small treasures. […]

  17. Isa, you’ve done a fine job of capturing the everyday things we see in nature that add so much texture to our times spent outdoors.

  18. truels said

    After only a few minutes in the blog-world in the last 10 weeks, I entered here again today. I have far away and have had so many great experiences – which I will tell more about in my blog 😉
    But it is nice to “meet” you again here, and look at these wonderful close-up photos.

    • Thanks a lot for your visit, dear truels. I so look forward to reading all about your experiences in a far away world. Happy you enjoyed the photos I made for Scott´s recent challenge.

  19. Janice said

    Hello Isa, I hope you are well. Perhaps since you wrote your last post here, spring has arrived in the Alps. It was late getting going in England too, but is now well under way. Your first photograph really captures the weather-worn smoothness of the wood. It reminded me of the monochrome photos my dad used to take. Are those rosehips growing in your garden in the post below? I wonder if you do anything with them – they’re apparently full of vitamin C and you have so many of them!
    Janice. x

    • Hello Janice, thanks a lot for your words. Yes, Spring has arrived here, most pleasant apart from a few very cold days. Some complain about the lack of rain for the agriculture, which could be problematic indeed. I am glad you enjoyed those close-up photos. The rosehips grow in a botanical garden. I did try to make some marmelade with some I picked elsewhere, it was a lot of work for a rather poor result 😦 I love rosehip tea though.

  20. I must be hungry – I thought that last picture was cake! 🙂 Love the birch bark.

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