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Dave Wyman | all galleries >> A Photograph On Occasion > What's in a Picture?
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Whats in a Picture?
12-APR-2008

What's in a Picture?

Cascade Along Centerville Road

My friend Jane Roberts and I went out to make some photographs. We found a little cascade, just off the Centerville Road, not far from the beautiful Honey Run Road Covered Bridge and the town of Chico, California.

I can't count the number of times I've made similar photographs. This one seems at least a little different. This one exhibits a fair amount of color, and the lack of it. It shows amorphous and blurred shapes; there is texture, there is light and there is shadow.

Primarily this seems to be a photograph of water. It's also a picture of rocks viewed through the light-filtering effect of the water. There are grayish rocks, greenish rocks, blackish rocks, orange-like rocks. It's also, in part, a photograph of the sky - the blue portions of the photograph are the reflections of the sky on top of the water.

In a way then, what at first looks like a photograph of water is a photograph of everything that makes up our world - solids (rocks), liquids (water), gases (represented by the blue color of light from the sun passing through the atmospheric gases of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapour and ozone).

Of course, there's no water in the photograph, or rocks or sky, just interpretations of those things in pixels on a computer monitor (or, should I choose to print this photograph, in chemicals on a piece of paper). There are no rocks, no sky, either. Just pixels of the reflection of light bouncing off the water, and of light bouncing off the rocks viewed through the water, and pixels of the sky bouncing off the water reflecting the sky, which means there's a reflection of a reflection.

Beyond the reflections of water and rocks and sky, I can "see" things in the photograph I know are not there. I can see several non-human faces, I can see an entire animal. You can probably see some of the same faces I can see, even though there are not really any faces in the water, in the pixels. It's just the ability of our human minds to make connections between disparate elements in a scene before us.

It all comes from my camera - rocks, sky, water, faces - in a photograph made at a 1/5 of a second, a photograph manipulated by me (with a boost in color, a slight increase in exposure) in a computer, a photograph of a little cascade just off Centerville Road.

Nikon D80 ,Nikon 18-200mm VR
1/5s f/16.0 at 150.0mm ISO 200 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Cindie Wolf04-Sep-2009 17:35
This is a beautiful photo and the words that you give it make it even more stunning. We often forget that we get just "One Life", for all parts and seasons have "start and stop dates". And in this one life, how much of it will we "see", "feel" attach to and participate in instead of just participating in the "task of the day". Living is so much more than going to and from work.
God is an incredible artist and He paints each day with us in mind.
I love this photo!
Gilles Navet17-Apr-2008 11:17
Abstraction painting feeling here
Bravo
Gilles
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