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Swamp Oil and Leaf - Zion National Park

Posted by
Barbara Lee (Oakland, United States) on 28 November 2010 in Abstract & Conceptual and Portfolio.

When I was in Zion, I spent a wonderful morning exploring a shallow creek bed which ran under a bridge. There were areas of the creek bed that were nearly dry, but this wonderful iridiscent blue and purple sheen floated on the surface of the water. I took loads of images of this phenomenon - see

I have done some research and I've learned that this is called "Swamp Oil" and is caused by the decay of plant material. It is found in swamps and very shallow creek beds.

I just felt so lucky to have found it on that morning. I plan to process a few more images from this shoot to share in the days to come. I hope you enjoy them. No special effects were applied to these images - either in the field or in the computer. It is just another one of the wonders of our planet!

NIKON D90 1/60 second F/9.0 ISO 500 135 mm (35mm equiv.)

To view more of my images, visit my portfolio at Barbara Lee Photography. Also, visit my Facebook fan page at!/pages/Barbara-Lee-Photography/244133283497[/url

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Look13 from Marseille, France

Good work.
Wonderfull colors.
Great cheer.

28 Nov 2010 8:58am

Anita from West Nottingham, United States

Fabulous colors and composition.

28 Nov 2010 11:37am

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

The yellow leaf is a perfect contrast to the gorgeous blue sheen of the oil.

28 Nov 2010 11:51am

marci from somewhere in..., Morocco

what cool patterns! well seen!

28 Nov 2010 1:19pm

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

These natural wonders are such a treasure! I love that you found out more about this and passed it on. I absolutely love the placement of the little yellow leaf in this one!

28 Nov 2010 3:28pm

Don Smith from California, United States

Gorgeous colors Barbara. Wish I would have had more time to explore - perhaps next fall!

28 Nov 2010 5:18pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

very cool!!!

28 Nov 2010 10:31pm

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

wonderful colours and great artistic quality to this photo!

29 Nov 2010 1:49am

DULCIE from Danville, CA, United States

A beautiful abstract. The colors and "oily" look are so bight and high key.
How fortunate to have caught have a good eye !!

29 Nov 2010 2:12am

cristoF from montbéliard, France

c'est géant ,les couleurs j'adore!bravo

29 Nov 2010 7:19pm

CLODO from PESSAC, France

Hi barbara

Wonderfull nature picture that your eye detects for us. Thank you for sharing!

29 Nov 2010 8:53pm

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

You've become the abstract guru! Wonderful eye on this one.

3 Dec 2010 2:17am

Marie from FRESNES, France

superbes couleurs, et très beau coup d'oeil.

9 Dec 2010 9:06pm

1/60 second
ISO 500
135 mm (35mm equiv.)