Without question, I can safely say that water is my favorite photographic subject. I think the primary reason for my love of photographing water, would be the fact that I love be be on or near the water rather I’m involved in photographic pursuits or just enjoying nature in other ways like fishing or canoeing. There is just something about being near any kind of body of water large or small, moving or still, that I find calming and enjoyable.
At times, I even wear chest waders or calf high waterproof boots and set my tripod up right in the water. Risky as it is to expose delicate and expensive camera equipment to moisture and grit, I can’t resist getting up close and personal to capture a perspective that leaves the viewer feeling like they could reach out and touch the water themselves.
My fascination with water makes sense when you consider how important it is to life and survival. Not just human life, but pretty much a living things depend on water for survival. Symbolically, water is often seen as a source of life itself, or purity. Consider that we humans are over 50% water!
Personally, I feel that the ebb and flow of the tides, or the constant flow of water heading down stream and over or around everything in it’s path, is akin to natural rhythms and the cycle of life. To me, a photograph that contains water makes a strong image that has an emotional effect on the viewer. Rather the viewer identifies with the water on a symbolic level, or just enjoys seeing the beauty of one of nature’s most powerful forces, images with water draw a viewer in and hold them.
There is also a duality when it comes to water. In one instance water gives life, but it is also a deadly and destructive force. When you fill a glass to get a drink, water conforms to the shape of the glass, yet water has the ability to erode the hardest rocks and create canyons!
When it comes to photographing water, there are many ways to capture an image that create completely different moods. Depending how you set the camera’s shutter speed you can either freeze the action of water as a moment in time, or blur it’s motion and create a dreamy almost surreal feeling.
If you’d like to see more of my work that includes this awesome force of nature, check out the following collections:
My “New England Coastline” collection has works from along the Atlantic coast.
“Moving Water” is a collection of images that show the beauty of water in motion.