THE DISTANT SOUND OF RUSHING WATER

July 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment


There is something about the pursuit of a photograph that I find calming, enjoyable, peaceful, and even spiritual.  This is especially true of my quiet work, less so with work that involves capturing action.  I find solitude walking through a landscape.  Listening to the sound of the breeze, breathing in the fresh air, becoming aware of the faint aroma of distant flowers, and enjoying the light as it changes. I feel more alive than ever at these times. I hear a distant sound of rushing water long before I see it.  Now my concentration is taking in everything around me.  The crunch of twigs on the forest floor, the rustle of leaves in the Summer wind, the changing temperature of the air as I walk along.  A small bird chases a larger one away from a nest, two squirrels dance around in an Oak tree, and the sound of birdsong fills the air as I walk towards the sound of this stream on a Summer day. 

I've been this way before. Following a familiar path, turning and twisting towards the stream, getting closer there is moisture filling the air. A Cooling and refreshing sound of fast moving water becomes louder.  One last turn, and I'm here.  There is a familiar convenient boulder waiting for me to sit and enjoy the show.  Recent rains have swollen the quiet stream creating patterns of white water spinning downstream.  Don't rush.  Just be here and enjoy this wonderful scene.  My eyes soon look for patterns and a composition, then a plan on how to frame it all.  I select a subject, then look for things to eliminate.  Issues with lens choice, shutter speed, and camera placement decided the shoot begins. 

Working my way downstream the first waterfall greets me with the sound I love so much.  I make the first exposures, the easy ones, then change lenses and viewpoint for a more creative angle.  Starting with a larger view, then working closer and closer, always eliminating just a bit more.  Near my feet the pounding water creates vortex patterns. Small plants vivid green in color reach out.  I love this solitude.  Today I am alone here, with nothing to pierce nature's song.  A decent size tree has fallen and added a new water pattern.  Sky blue and deep green reflections are a treat for the eyes. Time to move on, and downhill towards the next waterfall.  A small pool sits below the white water surrounded by wet jet black rock.  Somehow ferns have taken hold, growing to perfection, accompanied by the greenest of moss.  Not far off the remains of a structure, most likely a mill, decay slowly with the passage of time.  Who worked here and when?  A flour mill, or maybe a sawmill?  A short walk to a large flat boulder is just what I am looking for.  This wants to be a wide angle shot I tell myself.  Close to the ground, framing, looking, adjusting, and shooting, the aroma of moist earth is wonderful.

 Sitting quietly and enjoying my lunch nothing else exist but now.  All my senses seem to be sharper than ever, taking in sight and sound so perfect.  How long has this place been as it is? Knowing the answer I still wonder where all this water comes from, and how far?  I want to hold on to the serenity, and bring it back to the city in which I live.  What I really want is to capture this feeling in my photographs.  Hanging in just the right spot, matted and framed, the person viewing this composition should feel the peace of this moment.  Perhaps that’s to much to ask.  Thinking again no, its enough to ask.  Just be still, quiet the mind,  you will feel it.


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