Monday, August 21, 2017

On Finding a New Photographic Subject: Water

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That’s right, water. Oh sure, I’ve got lots of photographs that have water in them, puddles and ponds, the Hudson River, droplets on flowers, but I never thought of those as photos OF water. They’re photos of the river or of the flower (when wet), but not specifically of the water.

Now that’s what I’m thinking of, water.

The idea came to me when I was walking the neighborhood with my camera, mostly to shoot the waterfront, and started walking toward this ornamental fountain:


“Why don’t I shoot the cascading water”, thought I to myself. And so I approached closer, turned, and shot toward Manhattan across the river.


See the water droplets curtaining the scene? That’s what I’m after. Move in and get an arc:


And another, different background:


It was a continuous spray of water when it came out of the spout. Why does it break up into individual drops? The pull of surface tension? Have physicists modeled this, surely they must have.

Notice the spray of spider’s silk below and to the right of the jet, and, yes, I’m still thinking of the water–see all those out-of-focus drops:


Here it is, the droplets, each with an image of the sun:




Now I’ve shifted focus to the Manhattan skyline, but the droplets leave their marks in the scene:


Here’s a different fountain, a modest water fountain:


What next? Turbulence? Back in the day Disney had an animator who specialized in water. Can you imagine spending your days drawing thousands of pictures of scenes like this?


Do you know how much physics has been done about turbulence, and how much there is still to do?



1 comment:

  1. 'each with an image of the sun'

    What reminded me of barnacles. When they feed in rockpools top of the shell open with feather like tendrils, they close up when shadows hit the water.

    'they drink the sun' is the descriptive term. A creature of light and transformation.