Nature’s detail: A mysterious dark alpine flower

When I go for a hike in Summer, I often can’t resist the temptation to pack a macro lens to photograph nature’s detail from a close distance. You never know what you run into, and it provides an excellent alternative for when the light is not ideal for shooting landscapes!

I shot the above alpine flower close-up mid-August when I was hiking along an Alpine meadow near Schönried in the Swiss canton of Bern. To be honest, I don’t have a clue what type of flower it is and in what flowering state it was. It did stand out amongst the neighbouring coloured flowers though, and I really liked it, so I was happy I brought the macro lens for the hike.

Please do drop me a comment if you know what type of alpine flower it is!

This flower photograph is an extreme close-up, also called a macro photograph. Interested in seeing more? Then, have a look at the photo titled Soaking up the Sun, for example. Alternatively, visit our Flower Power photography theme. This theme consists solely of flower photographs like this one, both in colour and black & white.

Cheers, Johan 🙂

Mysterious dark flower

A macro photograph of nature's detail, featuring a mysterious dark brown flower against a shiny green background.

79 thoughts on “Nature’s detail: A mysterious dark alpine flower

  1. Charles Lupica says:

    I love my Canon 100mm f/2.8 lens on my Canon 5D Mark II. It is one of the finest lenses ever produced by Canon. I like this lens so much that I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to use it as a walk-around lens. :-)).
    My wife shoots a lot of here “macro” shoots with her Bigma – go figure. My 11 year-old son doesn’t want the bag full of Nikon gear I gave him including an old Nikon D80. He says he wants a Canon so he can use the Bigma. :-))
    Me, I’m like you. I carry too much and I’d like to add a 180mm macro lens to the mix. But first I think I would like to get a Canon 24mm – 70mm f/2.8 L.

    • Charles Lupica says:

      Flora Helvetia is the definitive guide to Swiss plants. It’s pretty expensive and difficult to use but, if it grows in Switzerland, it’s probably in the book (or on the CD)

      • Johan Peijnenburg says:

        I have a book with most of the basic stuf and when I can’t find it I usually hunt the internet …. or ask a question here 🙂
        Re the macro lens: I never use the macro lens for other stuff. I just don’t like how the images look when used for for instance landscapes. Not sure what it is though …

        • Johan says:

          Forgot to mention: you should trade in that old Nikon gear when shop for that new lens. I traded in a D80 with a couple of lenses for a new 24mm lens last year.

      • Charlotte Therese Björnström says:

        I wouldn’t bring it far if I’d have to carry it around, but for short walks it’s ok, it’s my best but heaviest lens. I have the 100 mm one for Canon. And you?

          • Charlotte Therese Björnström says:

            Yeah, I’m sure they are! I’d love to try out a Nikon one day to compare the feel of them, I only shot with Canons so far… It should be a similar lens then. Does it focus by shifting stuff interiorly or by expanding? I like that mine doesn’t get larger, that will help for shooting insects without scaring them in the spring/summer. No, I prefere light weight equipment if it goes with me since I walk or go by bike, don’t have a car. Flying with heavy gear seems difficult too… Today I wanted to bring my macro for a walk, but chose the 50 mm instead to challenge myself (I don’t really know how to treat it yet, it doesn’t deliver what I expect, so trying to learn how it functions, not sure if it’s really ok actually, I bought it at the same time as the camera so it’s new), and also since it’s the smallest I have…

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            I haven’t shot with a Canon yet, so maybe we should swap 😉 Mine also only shifts internally and has VR which is pretty handy sometimes. I would love to own a 200mm macro one day as well to be able to get closer without being too close 🙂
            I always carry way too many gear on hikes and regret it most of the times. I will have to be smarter about that in the future …
            I have a 50mm as well, but don’t use it for macro stuff mainly because it doesn’t focus close enough. It is nice and small indeed 🙂

          • Charlotte Therese Björnström says:

            Yeah, we can swap and try if we’re ever on the same place IRL some day. 🙂
            Mine doesn’t have VR, that sounds cool!

          • Johan Peijnenburg says:

            I use a tripod a lot of the times, but the VR comes in handy when I walk my dog and bring my camera with macro lens along for when I run into something interesting. Works quite well!

  2. Terrill Welch says:

    are you sure these are flower petals and not the seed head of a wild chive? It kind of looks like the pods once they have opened and the tiny black seeds have fallen out. Allium schoenoprasum. Wild Onions or Wild Chives. This species grows high in the mountains. This plant looks very much like a tame chive and the photograph looks like the seed heads on my tame plant. Just a thought.

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Hi Terrill: they are indeed seed heads. The question is from which flower. A few flowers have been mentioned already, I like the suggestion of it being a Swiss chocolate flower the best though 🙂 I know someone who has Allium in their garden. Will have a look next August!

  3. dene' miles says:

    Well hello for the second time today 🙂 so nice to see you in two places now, lucky me. This is simply gorgeous my friend 🙂

    • Johan Peijnenburg says:

      Thanks a bunch Dene’ 🙂 … and I’m afraid you’ll have to check back again for a 3rd time in an hour or so …

  4. Johan Peijnenburg says:

    @John: Thanks John! Glad you like it.
    @Todd: Lol Todd!!! Wasn’t sure if this image was interesting enough … I did find it intriging every time I ran into it again though 🙂

        • Johan Peijnenburg says:

          Made the mistake to fill up my agenda too much whilst I was there. The camera didn’t leave the bag. I had penciled in checking out the Zeeland brug after seing your photo of it as well as Kinderdijk … there is always a next time 🙂

  5. Merche Lázaro says:

    Very nice photo, it seems a ranunculaceae. The fruit is very similar to the Trolllius europaeus. I hope have not cleared the magical halo to the scene 🙂

  6. Joanna Pechmann says:

    Unfortunately I can not help you Johan with the name of these flower, but I like the image so unusual and interesting :

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