Tuesday, July 7, 2015


You may remember this photo from a previous post. Some people may be able to immediately figure it out while it may take others some time before they figure it out. That morning was completely unexpected. I had gone to the river as usual to film the bird life. I decided to set up at the bridge where a creek flows into the Patuxent. The tide was unusually high, causing the road to flood at one end of the bridge.

That is when I began to notice how the cars were throwing up spray as they drove through the flooded road surface. Most weren't even slowing down. I travel light when I film birds most of the time, only taking my one long lens, so if I was going to film the way the cars were hitting the water, they were going to be close-ups.

I had a blast just filming the sheets of water the cars were throwing up. It wasn't like I was hiding either. I was in plain sight of every car passing by. One guy driving towards me hit the water so fast that, even though it had to have been forty or fifty feet away, he threw a spray at me that fell just short of where I was standing. Thankfully, for the sake of the electronics, he missed. I think he was trying to get me wet.

What I really wanted to (ahem) focus on in this blog, though, is how truly plastic water is as an element. I think I compared it to a kaleidoscope in one post for it's ability to endlessly morph into new shapes and colors. I took numerous images on the morning I took this photograph. It just happened to be at the same bridge where the previous photos were taken — but in the creek below the bridge. Of all those images, no two were quite the same.

What other element if so pliable? In this image, it perfectly reflects the blue of the sky while at the same time being as smooth as a sheet of glass.

The surface here looks for all the world like brush strokes on a canvas.

In this image, the water took on the colors of the surrounding trees. I won't speak of the attachment you can develop to a picture that would mean almost nothing to anyone else. I took this on the first evening of a vacation with my brother and his wife and it always reminds me of the fun time we had at this lake.

In this image, the river bed, visible at the bottom of the photo, merges with the reflection of the sky. The water makes the entire image possible.

Here is another dynamic image thanks to the water. Three or four guys were taking turns water skiing one morning on the river. Since there wasn't a lot going on with the birds, I was taking pictures of them skiing. I was able to get their attention later and, as it turned out, the man in this photo ended up buying a copy of this photo for himself.

Slow the shutter down so that more time passes and water takes on completely different qualities. Here in the United States, we take clean, potable water for granted, but in so much of the world it is a daily issue of survival. I would encourage you to investigate some of the means of helping that are available. There are a number of worthy organizations, including one Matt Damon is involved with, that dig wells. There are also organizations disseminating water filters and straws that can mean the difference between life and death in some areas of the world.

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