The Inspiration of Water

The Inspiration of Water

It is a rainy start to the day here.  I like it.

There is rain that whispers softly past your window and there is rain that steadily hammers against your roof.  Each have they’re own unique sounds and moods that, if you listen and feel, can brighten your day and inspire you.  This morning’s rain is quiet, gentle, and soothing.   Soon, the rain will saturate all of Spring’s colors and make everything look lush and alive.  The overcast sky serves as a giant softbox which lights the landscape evenly and softly.  There is no better light.  I would love to be out with my camera and a macro lens this morning!   How ironic that rain nourishes and rejuvenates everything that it touches, yet we look at such days as gloomy.  Rain brings us one of our most critical resources and greatest photographic subjects:  water.

Water is beautiful.  The woods of  New England are alive with trickling streams and proud rivers that make for wonderful  subjects.  Streams tend to be lined with moss covered boulders, colored rocks, and waterfalls.  All of these elements create dramatic patterns and shapes that allow for many compositions.   Waterfalls are mesmerizing, beautiful, and very powerful.  It is challenging to capture the feel of their strength in your images but, if successful the results can be dramatic.   Before you start making images, watch and listen to the movement of the water.  FEEL the scene around you and identify what appeals to you about the patterns, shapes, and sounds.  The more you open your senses to the scene in front of you, the more you can utilize the tools in your camera bag, and imagination, to create meaningful images.


A Polarizing Filter is almost a necessity when photographing water but, a Neutral Density filter is an option that you use to delve further into your creativity.  The job of a polarizing filter is to eliminate reflections and glare.  By rotating the front element of the filter you can control the shine from reflective rocks, leaves, and water that create distracting highlights within your composition.  Neutral Density filters come in varying strengths and are used to block light.  Less light means longer exposures which result in varying effects to the movement of water.  This is where your emotions take over.  How you connect to your scene will translate to your images.  The longer your exposure, the more smooth and silky the water will appear.  The faster your shutter speed, the more action will be frozen in the scene.  There is NO right or wrong; it is all about how YOU feel about the action and the final message:  YOUR message.  As in all photography, certain tools help you more than others but, nothing has a more dramatic effect than your own creativity.  Photograph what you feel!

Water is unpredictable and yet, consistent.  Be it a river or the sea, water moves with alluring purpose.  I admire that it never fails to find its’ way.  I love its’ varying sounds and sensual movements.  I envy its unwavering tenacity and strength as well as its’ dangerous fierceness.  I cherish its soothing nature.  I need its’ humble nurturing.  I am drawn to everything about water: it’s all so beautiful and necessary.
Water is inspiring.
DET 2012

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