Abstractionism … no assembly required

I’ve never worked to achieve any degree of abstractionism in my photos so it is that I must explain that this one simply presented itself. Yes, I desaturated the RAW file, increased its contrast, and reduced the highlights but, otherwise, this is it. I wonder what you make of it? Perhaps a few hints might help; but, wait, that’s not the way abstractionism works. I’m supposed to present the image, period. You’re supposed to view it and do with it what you will. Right? Anyway, here’s a hint. The image was taken while walking the Pine Creek rail trail; and, in particular, it was taken while traversing a steel truss bridge which spans the creek at Ramsey. To discover the identify of these patterned swirls just scroll below. And, no fair peaking.


Ok, ok, this is an image of tree pollens floating on the surface of Pine Creek. The dramatic swirls were created by the influences of the current and eddies on the floating mass. Pretty cool, don’t you think?

20 thoughts on “Abstractionism … no assembly required

  1. Yes, I do think it’s cool. I was going to suggest that it is effluent from some awful manufacturing plant discharging into the water, but it looks too benign for that. A really interesting shape. I like it.

  2. I would never have figured it out. How wonderful nature can be! It’s amazing just how much pollen we can get, isn’t it. My house backs on to the woods and two or three times per year everything gets coated in yellow pollen. It’s truly amazing just how much, and how it all coincides so well – it’s in just one day, not spread over several.

    • Yes … I was replying to M. Hazel that when the pastures get ahead of the flock I will mow the grass and much of it is either in pollen or producing seed … it’s a MESS. If one were able to hover above the field and remove me from view … you could discern my path by following the cloud of liberated plant ‘products.’ I’m glad I’m not overly allergic to the stuff! D

  3. My first thought was oil on water, but your text was too cheerful for this, but I can imagine the pollen on the water. We had a shelter belt of pine trees on our farm, and when I’d mow the grass too close to the trees I’d come away looking like someone had dipped me in egg yolks. I like this image!

    • Yes … once the pastures here get beyond the flock I have to hop on the mower so that the sheep don’t get lost in the deepening sea … and so they don’t get seed in their fleeces once the grasses go to set. When I do mow I find myself shrouded in billowing clouds of pollen as you describe. Looking on the bright side though … all this is good as a challenge to the immune system I suppose. D

  4. I first took this to be an aerial view, but I knew that couldn’t be right once you mentioned a bridge. After reading your explanation, all I can say is that you’ve got some heavy-duty pollens there.

  5. Cool, indeed. This image is probably more striking in b/w vs color! Glad you decided to try it! Doesn’t even really look like anything in nature, more something from the world of electronics!

  6. I have now tried to figure it out for a while before I scrolled to the end. The image reminded me of the following:

    A map … reminiscent how the landscape looks like when viewed from a plane, landing at night. The light, however, is rather eerie and not like street lamps. As if isoclines on the map would magically be highlighted.

    Abstract, computer-generated images of fractal structures. And coastlines are fractal, so this is related to the first idea.

    Some visualization of stress in materials, similar to the colored images of strained plastic parts, when using polarized light (used in the textbook explanation of dichroism).

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