Monday, July 1, 2019


I enjoy photographing water--waterfalls, lakes, rivers, creeks, reflections, large and small bodies of water. I like to vary the times of day--early morning, broad daylight, late afternoon, or at twilight--that magic 10-minute window we have between sunset and nighttime.  

Water can be the main center of interest or play a significant role in the scene's composition. Its qualities can translate mystery, tranquility, drama, or fun adventures.

With that introduction, let me share the first piece from my collection. This is a relatively small lake in Colorado, near the Indian Peaks Wilderness northwest of Boulder. It's called Red Rock Lake. Shot early morning around 8:30, I underexposed the scene to retain the easy, tranquil feeling I was sensing that morning. I chose to include the sun only as a reflection in the lake, giving the scene a mysterious and mystical feel.

I stopped at Taylor Park Reservoir during one of my many drives between Buena Vista and Crested Butte, Colorado. The beautiful day attracted lots of boating enthusiasts. As I looked out at the lake, I noticed the shapes, forms, and designs the boats created on the water as they whizzed by. It intrigued me. For this shot, I added lots of water in order to emphasize the shapes created in the water by all the boats in the area.

The Great Salt Lake just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere.It is 1,700 square miles and 75 miles long! I went to check things out one year, but I wanted to see what it gave me late in the evening. I liked what it gave me.   
I covered my view finder with two-thirds lake in order to emphasize its tremendous size.  

I just had to photograph this couple floating the Buffalo River in Arkansas. Their reflections, coupled with the reflections of the surrounding giant bluffs, really added interest and a sense of fun to this image.There are times when extremely slow shutter speeds (like 1 to 1/5 of a second) add to the photograph. This is not one of those times. I wanted to "freeze" the reflections and replicate the surroundings in the river as much as possible. A shutter speed of 1/250 did the trick. 

The Grand Tetons in Wyoming always make for great photographs. When I can find a reflection of them, they give me even more to enjoy. I found such a reflection in this small but perfectly located lake. This just goes to show that we can get good photos in the middle of the day. 

In nearby Colorado, I love to photograph one of the most beautiful but lesser-known lakes in this country--Hanging Lake. It is worth the extremely steep one-mile hike.

And, of course, waterfalls give us some dramatic views and sounds. My favorite waterfall in Colorado is Fish Creek Falls, just outside Steamboat Springs. May and June are the best times of the year, when snowmelt creates powerful waterfalls. You can feel the power underneath you, if you're close enough.

Blue Spring Heritage Center, near Eureka Springs, Arkansas is an interesting spot to visit. The best perspective is only a few yards away--a wide angle lens is definitely a must. 

Lake Luzern cuts through the city of Luzern, Switzerland. I love cities with bodies of water running through them. They add so much character. In addition, they make for great photos!
I prefer to shoot such scenes at twilight, to add color to the sky.

Every state has at least one body of water. Go find the lakes, creeks, rivers, or waterfalls in your state and have fun with them. Try different exposures, different times of day, different shutter speeds, and perspectives. And remember: there's no such thing as the "correct" exposure; there's only the right exposure, and you determine what that is for you! Enjoy.



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