Thursday, September 24, 2015

Painting with Water

From the canoe, it is natural that water has a significant place in my photography. I watch water constantly and I love how the paddle and canoe play with it. Droplets from the paddle create expanding circles on the water surface. The canoe gently slices through the water leaving a playful wake behind it. As the sky spreads out over the water, so do its reflections. Through my polarizer sunglasses, it is like viewing art.

One day, I decided to work with my canoe to create something different. Using the movements from the boat, I played with the water and composed images that incorporated the ripples made by the canoe. Using a polarizing filter on the lens, I experimented with various scenes. Always, the reflections are a draw. Once I found a scene that I liked, I set up the canoe perpendicularly and staked out. I set up for the shot and then gently rocked the canoe. This created horizontal waves that appeared at the bottom of the frame and continued moving toward the top.

In a way, I see this as "painting" with water. By doing so, water becomes a strong foreground or it may form repeating patterns. On a larger scale, when I photograph wide angle waterscapes, I see water disturbed by the oyster bars forming shapes that give the otherwise undisturbed water surface character. The shallow water interacts with the sky and clouds, but it also interacts with the ground. On Biscayne Bay, it is the seagrasses; on Chokoloskee Bay, it is the oyster bars.

I photograph in a watery playground that is forever changing and challenges me to create. The canoe has an essential place in that process.