Subjects of water can exhibit both power and calm. They provide endless photographic possibilities. While photographing running water, each exposure of the same subject is different in composition and texture. I will use different apertures and time exposures to give myself choices to work toward the expressive final image. When photographing rivers, waterfalls, or waves at the beaches, I expose multiple images each time I set up my equipment then choose what I consider the best of the lot after viewing the darkroom proof sheets or post processing digital files. It’s rather hard to stop and think I’ve got the "best" image, especially when I observe an even better one as I am packing up my gear. I guess there is always a better image waiting for me tomorrow, next week, next month, whenever. That’s what keeps me photographing.
Photographing still water (for example, I want to make an image of a lake, there is a clear sky, the camera is on a sturdy tripod, the mirror is locked up, I am using a cable release, and there is absolutely no wind) can engender a feeling of mood, depending on what I want to express in the final image. Light and airy, dark and moody, natural color, high contrast, soft focus, high dynamic range, and monochrome are some of the choices that are available to create mood in an image of water that is static.
While driving along the coast, I occasionally stop to view patterns on the sand created by the waves. I use a short shutter speed to stop the action of the water as each crashing wave reveals a different pattern in the foam as it runs up the sloping beach front. That forward motion of the foam is called swash and as it runs back down it’s called backswash.
The choice of aperture/shutter speed when photographing water depends on what I want to exhibit in the final print, whether it be a lot of movement, some movement, or the texture of the water as it is stopped with a very short exposure.
Images in the new gallery are scanned 2 1/4 x 2 3/4 inch and 5 x 7 inch negatives, as well as digital format images. I hope you enjoy this new gallery.