Saturday, October 11, 2014

Abstract Water Reflections

My favorite means of creating abstract images is reflections in water. Water has the most amorphous qualities of any element I know. The same water can reflect the crystalline blue of the skies one day and the threatening gray of a fury the next. Small disturbances in the water have the ability to continuously morph in a fascinating dance, reflecting colors from the surroundings. It is very much like looking at a kaleidoscope, except without the kaleidoscope.

This image is one of my favorite reflection images. It was taken in a cove on a lake when fishing from a party barge was proving fruitless and I took up the camera instead. Notice how the white froth gives you a clue as to where the water's surface resides.

Here is the very next frame made after the previous image. The same and yet so different. When water is disturbed even just slightly, photos taken one right after another will never look the same. It wouldn't take long to burn through a whole card full of images and none of them would look quite like any other.

Believe it or not, this entire image is a reflection. There is no actual leaves in the image at all. It illustrates how well still water can mirror it's surroundings. The photo was flipped upside down to complete the illusion.

I remember well taking this photograph. I was standing on a fishing pier on the Patuxent and spotted an otter silently plying the edge of a nearby reed bed. Before I could train my camera on it, it ducked underwater. They don't spook that easily, so I don't think it was anything I did that motivated it to disappear. I continued to watch, however, hoping it would reappear. While I was waiting, I realized I was looking at one of the most interesting reflections I have ever seen. The aquanaut never reappeared but, no matter. It would have had to have been a pretty good image of an otter to beat this photo.

I planned on shooting from the edge of a small bridge over a creek feeding into the Patuxent one morning. There was a nice ledge, just wide enough to allow me to stand in wait of some eagles I knew regularly inhabited the trees nearby. I had to park a block or so from the bridge and when I approached, I could see the tide was so high it had begun to flood the street. There was room to pass without getting wet and I didn't think much of it and went around. It wasn't too long after that I looked back over my shoulder and realized I was going to be stuck there for a while unless I wanted to wade through a puddle. I noticed it created a crazy reflection that was difficult to interpret without the benefit of knowing the context.

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