Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.
This month, I’m sharing this photo with Kat Sloma’s Photo Heart Connection. See why below.
I love water. I love living on it (literally). I love living near it. I love sitting by it and watching as it ebbs and flows…
I was born on an island, moved to another island as a child, grew to adulthood on island, lived near Lake Ontario when I attended university and beside a river in Toronto for a time as a young adult. For 17 years I lived with a canal at one end of my street and a river at the other — with all the bridges we had to cross regularly, it felt a bit like living on an island.
None of this was planned, and I only realized it recently, in fact. When we get to a certain age, we begin to see the patterns in our lives and perhaps start to understand them a bit.
These days I spend a good part of the year on a sailboat in southern waters. The rest of the time I don’t live quite as close to water as I used to, but we are fortunate to have a river running through our town and lots of waterfalls. Every time I go to our main street I stop to visit the waterfalls. These falls also provide the green power for our community.
It’s a challenge to photograph waterfalls, as you probably know if you’ve ever tried. Too short an exposure and the water freezes in a manner not characteristic of itself. The falls don’t look the way you experienced them. Longer exposures are the key to the soft, creaminess that appeals to so many of us. But long exposures can let too much light in, ruining the picture. Enter the Neutral Density Filter. It allows you to reduce the amount of light that can pass through the lens. So after adding a neutral density filter, you can use a slower shutter speed. In these photos I used an aperture of F16 and a shutter speed between 1/2 second to a second at 200 to 360 ISO.
I certainly need much more practice making photographs of waterfalls and rivers and lakes and oceans, but each time I learn a little more and am rewarded by the time spent near water.
Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad