Waterfall, Leaf, and Post

waterfallI couldn’t think of a lot to write about this time; no computer stuff, no photography as art ponderings, no reports of any big hikes. I did take a quick half day walk to a local woods and took some pics so I thought I’d just post a couple three of them with a little explanation.

I often feel like my photos require explanation. Sort of to answer the question of “what in the world was he thinking when he took that piece of crap”.

I have an idea for a full discussion of the problem of me experiencing the scene first hand while everyone else just sees the photo and the difference that makes in how the photo is viewed. I have to think some more on that first though.

Maybe I’m just paranoid. Maybe people don’t think that hard about the meaning of photos. They are just looking for the first impression is it a pretty picture or not reaction. Remember – just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

If you have followed this blog much or look at my web site, you know that this first waterfall photo is pretty standard fare for me. I love to shoot water and I have a difficult time avoiding streams and gullies when I’m walking in the woods. I can hear running water a mile away.

However, I rarely take photos of large waterfalls with a wide lens. I seem to like smaller more intimate falls that may only be a few feet high. I like to be close and study how each small rivulet makes its way over the stones. I like the complexity of the separate streams running here and there around the frame rather than one big gush. I like to play the dark black hollows of the stones off against the bright white of the flowing water.
Leaf in water

I took this yellow leaf at the same waterfall. While I was waiting for a long exposure of the fall, I saw this colorful leaf fall from an overhanging tree, land at the top of the fall, and get pushed over the edge by the water. It got stuck part way down with the water flowing over it. I thought it might be a little different angle on the typical “here’s a pretty autumn leaf” type of shot.

I normally like my photos to be sharp and in focus front to back. I rarely ever use any setting other than F22. I’d buy F64 lenses for my camera if I could get them. This leaf is obviously blurry. The water flowing over it made a mist effect at the long exposure time and it made some parts of the leaf move (like the upper right point”). I like it anyway. I don’t know why for sure. It is kind of different at least.

PostThis last one is the top of a post along the access road to the woods. I saw it on my way back to my car. It was early afternoon the sun had come out and it was shining at a nice angle. I found it interesting because of the moss growing on the top and the green stuff blending with the purple-ish color of the weathered wood down the sides. There were some gouges in the side made by who knows what that gave it some more character.

I just liked the colors and the textures. I tried a bunch of different angles to try and convey what I liked about it. I settled on this one. Maybe it’s not the one you would have picked, but that’s what makes photography more than just a literal recording system. People see things differently – I hope.



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6 Responses to “Waterfall, Leaf, and Post”

  1. Bobbie Says:

    I like the colors and textures, too. I can almost smell this photo (that woodsy, dampy, mossy aroma), and I want to stick out my finger and touch the damp moss. Very well done.

  2. barbara Says:

    I love your thoughts about your photos. I could learn so much shadowing you and your camera.

  3. forestrat Says:

    Thanks for the kind words. I’ll have to write this sort of post more often.


  4. Bernie Kasper Says:

    Your flowing water shots are always top notch Mark, I really like this leaf photo as well, I love the mood of your work it has a certain darkness to it the colors are always so vibrant as well.

  5. fencer Says:

    I second the appreciation for your thoughts on the photos you take. I feel like I learn from it as well.

    I like that leaf photo too… there’s a presence to it (or something). The post photo is interesting although it doesn’t do that much for me (nor should it, necessarily). But I think pushing your own boundaries, doing something different, may result in a lot of perhaps interesting but not wonderful photos as you explore a new direction, and then something new will start to shine.

    No real criticism intended! I admire your work…


  6. Mark Says:

    I think we share the same affinity towards flowing water, I just wrote about it recently as well. I think it always helps to have a little backstory behind the images, I wish I had the time to write one for every shot I take. I find the layered stone in the first shot incredibly interesting – it is something I would probably find myself camped down in front of for quite awhile!

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