Moving water, still water, atmospheric water, rushing water, reflective water, frozen water. From these, I take my inspiration as a photographer. There is something about a stream suddenly taking a tumble down a rocky chute that stops me in my tracks, makes me want to compose and shoot, compose and shoot. My goal is simply to show you the movement I saw, to let you share in the power or beauty of the running water.
Shooting with a fast shutter speed, say 1/200 or more, stops the water and its droplets in their tracks. Especially in good light, this can yield stunning results as the glass-like sculpture flows past my lens. But it is just that glass-like quality that makes the image seem sculptural and static, not moving. Shooting with a slow shutter speed, say 15 seconds, turns water into a blur, into cotton candy, into a dreamy haze of flowing water. This can be beautiful also, but again is not what I want to show you.
Somewhere in between, say between a half second and two seconds, is the sweet spot for me. It is there that I find the motion in the water that I'm looking for. The sculptural, glass-like quality is gone, and the water has not yet turned to haze. In the sweet spot, the water shows texture. Bright ribbons of water flow like muscles and sinews over dark rock. You see the flow, and you almost feel it.
This image, stream takes a tumble, was shot at 2 seconds, f/11, 28mm, looking down as a stream tumbles over rock and down a little falls. In Lightroom, I corrected the white balance (too green due to the overhead foliage), sharpened, adjust highlights and shadows, etc. for best presentation. The result is this chiaroscuro gem. 4 July 2015.