Posted by: kerryl29 | March 25, 2019


Few things catch my eye when I’m photographing more than patterns, and since the vast majority of the time I’m photographing natural subjects, the patterns I see and respond to are naturally occurring.  What’s particularly interesting about patterns in nature is the fact that they are revealed in so many different places and in such visually unique ways.

Dunes Abstract Black & White, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Merced River Reflections, Sierra National Forest, California

Aspen Forest, Celestine Lake Road, Jasper National Park, Alberta

While the subject matter is remarkably varied, the perspective needed to tease out the patterns is equally disparate.  I’ve used wide angle lenses, normal focal lengths, telephoto lenses and closeup/macro lenses to make pattern-based images.  Sometimes the pattern is revealed as far as the eye can see.  On other occasions, a much closer examination is called for.

Lily Pond Reflections, Kancamagus Highway, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Forest Floor Intimate, Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Yosemite Valley in Fog from Tunnel View Black & White, Yosemite National Park, California

Autumn’s Tapestry, County Road 7, Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado

Banana Tree Leaf, White River Gardens, White River State Park, Indiana

As some of the above examples have already demonstrated, patterns and abstracts often fit together, hand-in-glove.  This isn’t always the case; it’s certainly possible to render a pattern in non-abstract form, but not infrequently the two genres often have nearly perfect overlap.

Pink Canyon, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Driftwood Abstract Black & White, Humboldt Lagoons State Park, California

Elephant Ear Leaf, White River Gardens, White River State Park, Indiana

Enfield Creek Rapids Intimate Black & White, Robert H. Treman State Park, New York

Black & White Abstract, Atigun Pass, Dalton Highway, Brooks Range, Alaska

Toklat River Black & White, Polychrome Pass, Denali National Park, Alaska

Since patterns are often mostly a function of common and/or complementary shapes, the pattern can sometimes be best recognized when displayed in monochrome.

Beach Grass Trio Black & White, Little River State Beach, California

Hector Falls Intimate Black & White, Schuyler County, New York

Redwood Sorrel and Ferns Black & White, Coastal Trail, Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, California

Hemlock Hill Black & White, Morton Arboretum, Illinois

Surging Surf black & white, Monument Cove, Acadia National Park, Maine

Palmetto Closeup Black & White, Riverbend Park, Palm Beach County, Florida

Snowy Conifers Black & White, Eagle Creek Park, Marion County, Indiana

It may seem as though I go out specifically looking for patterns; I don’t, ever, really.  The pattern either reveals itself to me or it doesn’t.  But it remains remarkable to me how often the revelation happens.

Aspens Forever, Coal Bank Pass, San Juan National Forest, Colorado

Dunes Geometry, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Sun-Kissed Aspens, Telluride Valley Floor, San Miguel County, Colorado

Aspen Leaves and Grasses, Preacher’s Point, David Thompson Country, Alberta

White Birch Forest, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Snowy Conifers, Red Mountain Pass, San Juan National Forest, Colorado

Given how many patterns I run across without even looking for them, I can’t help but wonder how many I’d discover if I was making an active attempt to find them.


  1. These are beautiful, think I will keep this email in my inbox for a little while so I can go back to it and browse through the images. Found the Merced River water reflections and the lily pond reflections grabbed my attention but love the leaf close-ups too.

  2. Beautiful images!!

  3. Wonderful series of photo’s – enjoyed

    • Thanks very much!

  4. This is a spectacular collection of images of patterns in nature. The lily ponds stopped my eye on the first trip through…it looked like the rocks were holes in the water surface. Once my brain kicked in, I could see the rocks as protruding, but it’s obviously more of an abstraction than one would think.

  5. Great photos! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks very much!

  6. Lovely!

    • Thanks very much!

  7. […] it need not be, at least not in the classic sense of the term.  As I attempted to demonstrate in my previous post, patterns can be a center of […]

  8. WoW

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