Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Different waters

with 14 comments

On the morning of February 23rd I went to Great Hills Park, lately in these pages a local travelogue for the Land of Lichen, because we’d had rain overnight. A shutter speed of 1/15 of a second turned the creek at the base of this small but suddenly abundant waterfall into aqueous fur; what else would you expect after you’d had rain pelt down?

Small Waterfall in Great Hills Park 5925

Back in the world of clarity, slightly upstream on the creek into whose side that little waterfall flowed I toyed with the interplay between reflections and shallowly watered rocks.

Rocks and Reflections in Creek 5931

And elsewhere in Great Hills Park I visited the strange creek that emerges from the bedrock and cascades briefly downhill to form a pool.

Underground Spring Emerging 5944

UPDATE: I’ve added a fanciful addition to the end of the recent post showing a southern dewberry flower.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 11, 2016 at 5:03 AM

14 Responses

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  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen water look so gloriously furry. It looks like I could stroke it or brush it. 🙂 The second picture with its clear still water and reflections is such a contrast. I agree, the creek in the last picture is very interesting. I’m assuming it is natural, not man-made? A beautiful set of pics, Steve.


    March 11, 2016 at 5:40 AM

    • I like both your description of the first picture as “gloriously furry” and your impulse to stroke or brush it. No other long-exposure photograph that I’ve taken of moving water has come out like that. I think the brown in the lower half of the image contributes to the furry effect.

      I’d originally stopped with that one image but then it occurred to me to add the clear contrast of the second picture. Then the title phrase “different waters” worked its will on me and I looked for a third photograph to contrast with each of the first two. To answer your question about that third picture: the underground creek is indeed natural.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2016 at 6:20 AM

  2. A very nice series. Number one is particularly outstanding.


    March 11, 2016 at 5:56 AM

    • That first picture was going to stand alone but then and yet again, as the water came over the rocks, the impulse to add something came over me, and each time I acquiesced.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2016 at 6:24 AM

  3. Not only have you offered us furry water, it has the look of ermine. That’s especially appropriate since, as the linked article points out, ermine was favored for official portraiture. They were thinking of kings and queens rather than brooks and streams, but I think it works perfectly well for this watery portrait, too.

    I’m glad you thought to add the final image. It’s my favorite, not only because of the watery surprise, but also because of three nicely arranged elements: the layered rock, the curvey roots, and the amorphous, leafy ground cover to the left.


    March 11, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    • I wouldn’t have been able to specify the kind of fur the way you did. There’s more than a trace of irony in having ermine (or anything else) symbolize the purity of kings in olden day. Give me a break, and give me brooks and streams any time.

      Including the comment below, each picture has now become the favorite of at least one person, so my addition of the last two photographs served a purpose.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2016 at 8:57 AM

  4. I love the second one, with the rocks. It almost looks like there is an octopus lurking there, reaching its tentacles into the clear water. I’ve always thought there was a disconnect between the name of the animal and the name of its limbs. Shouldn’t they be octacles?


    March 11, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    • Yours is the third comment in a row signaling a favorite photograph, and each one a different favorite. I didn’t see the “octopus” in the water in the second picture until you pointed it out. The pus in octopus means ‘foot’ (compare the root in pedal and podiatry), taken here in the more general sense of ‘leg, limb.’ If all eight legs become infected, you could get octo pus.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2016 at 9:04 AM

  5. Wonderful Steve! The first pic has so much action .. Volumes. Was the water cold?


    March 11, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    • The slow shutter speed imparts that feeling of motion.

      February is a cold month in the northern hemisphere, equivalent to your August, but we’ve had a very mild winter this year. Even so, the water was decidedly cool, but I didn’t interact with it much physically. I wore a pair of hip-high rubber boots so I could walk in the creek. I don’t remember feeling unduly chilled.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2016 at 3:08 PM

  6. I am a water guy, so all three appeal, but the roots on that tree in the third image really get my attention.

    Steve Gingold

    March 11, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    • So we could say you’re rooting for the third picture.

      The tree’s prominent roots appealed to me too but I had trouble getting a good vantage point. You know about such things.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2016 at 10:51 PM

  7. I agree with Mr. Gingold. The third gets my vote as well. I see, above, that you had difficulty with proximity. Perhaps on your next visit you can approach from the other bank?

    Pairodox Farm

    March 12, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    • Interesting that both of you chose the traditional landscape, even though I had difficulty getting that picture. The place where I wanted to stand was higher up to the right from where I was, and being farther away I would have zoomed in more, but when I tried to get to that spot from a couple of approaches I found I still couldn’t get a clear shot. I’ll have to go back for another look.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 12, 2016 at 8:59 PM

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