Waterfall, The Venetian Pool, Coral Gables, Florida, 2013
Using a fast shutter speed of 1/800th of a second, I am able to freeze a curtain of falling water as it plunged down the face of an artificial waterfall built as a scenic backdrop along side of this famous swimming pool in 1924. The water, stopped in mid-flow, says “now,” but also could have looked exactly like this if stopped in action ninety years ago.
The crash of surf, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Carmel, California, 2012
This collision of surging surf and rocky cliff is magnified by the camera’s ability to freeze droplets hanging in the air, as well as capture the frenzied curve of a wave that seems to perfectly match the notch of ancient rock that awaits it. I like the collision of colors as well – the warmth of the old rock contrasts nicely to the chilly blues in the frothy water. Over the centuries, the constant slamming of water into rock seems to have gradually created the very shape of the base of the cliff itself.
Fountain, Cuenca, Ecuador, 2011
I used a moment in time to simultaneously freeze both the flow of this fountains spray and a man framed within the arch of the building in the background. My 1/400th of a second shutter speed creates a shower of individual droplets that covers the entire image with a rain-like pattern.
“Woman and Fish,” Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2011
This sculpture, by Abbott Pattison, stands upside down in a pond before Scottsdale’s City Hall. I photographed it so that the “V” shaped position of its legs repeats the “V” shape of the fountain just behind it. The backlighting abstracts the statue, turning it into a silhouette. It also allows the light to pass through the shower of water that rises and falls from the fountain, revealing individual droplets that are frozen in time at 1/1000th of a second.
Oak Creek, Red Rock Crossing State Park, Sedona, Arizona, 2009
By mid morning, the Arizona sun turns the churning waters of Oak Creek into a textured road abounding in crinkles, wrinkles, and folds. Magically, the water reflects the colors of its surroundings. The upper left side of this image echoes the green of overhead leaves, while the water at lower right hints of the red rocks lurking just below the surface.
Fountain, Salem, Massachusetts, 2009
A spiraling jet of crystalline water comes tumbling out of a fountain honoring the works of Salem’s Nathaniel Hawthorne. I used a very fast shutter speed of 1/1250th of a second to preserve the pattern within the water.
Rogue River Gorge, Oregon, 2009
I photographed this spot again and again, and the light was never the same twice. The water moves across the rocks in an unpredictable way and the sunlight was coming through leaves overhead that were also moving. I wanted this image to be all about fury. The force of the water pouring through this narrow gorge is astounding. I focused and exposed on the brightest part of the scene using my spot metering mode, which makes the shadowed areas darker and more mysterious.
Black and white study, Rogue River Gorge, Oregon, 2009
By going to black and white here, I abstract the image, honing it down to its essentials. I’ve also framed the flow of water over the rocks at the very spot of its greatest impact and force. The light is brighter than in the previous Rogue River Gorge image, allowing me to use shutter priority and select a shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second, the fastest speed I have ever used. The droplets hang suspended in the air, the water streams over the big rock in rhythmic waves, while the background boils in the shadows.
Fountain, Sousse, Tunisia, 2008
The beauty of this image rests in the expression of sculpted exhilaration amidst an explosion of water droplets. Using the shutter priority mode on my camera, I selected 1/1000th of a second, which enabled me to many droplets in mid-flight. The pair of statues are also flanked by two jets of water that are moving so fast that even 1/1000th of a second exposure fails to freeze them, allowing the spouts to create blurred pillars of energy as context.
Sprinkler, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2008
To find moisture in motion on our travels, we need to look beyond just the rivers, waterfalls, and geysers that are so much a part of the natural world. A sprinkler, on the other hand, is man made. While it may not be part of the natural world, a sprinkler’s moving water patterns can also bring meaning to our images. In this case, I photograph two men on a landscaping crew discussing their work in a Scottsdale city park. I shoot the conversation through the falling drops of a sprinkler, a critical tool for everything that landscapers create. The cascade of falling water creates a layer of abstraction here. My 1/200th of a second shutter speed isolates each drop in flight, yet also extends it into a tiny streak of light. The scene is doubly abstracted: the moving water creates a layer of abstraction and so does the man at right, by turning his back to us.
Debris, Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2008
Instead of shooting the waterfall itself, I focus here on its effect. The runoff from the falls cascades through a jumble of boulders, and trees that have toppled into the Gibbon River above the falls. Such is the result of my perspective. This image is all about the tremendous power of falling water, and its impact on the natural world around it.
Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2008
I had last photographed this waterfall in late September, 2006. (See http://www.pbase.com/pnd1/image/69212132
) I returned to the same spot two years later, just a few weeks later in the season, and made an entirely different image. I noticed that the huge rocks on the face of the waterfall were now closer to the surface, probably due to a small rate of flow. I zoomed in to abstract the scene, building it around the rhythms of water itself. I converted the image to black and white because unlike my earlier image, this entire photograph was monochromatic in nature.