Long exposure water photography is an abstract world waiting to be discovered.
Yes, I do the misty waterfall thing, and I love that my skills have progressed to the point where the more typical "water" work I show in galleries and sell to retail and healing spaces is refined in a more traditiaonal way that inspires people to discover and embrace nature's healing promise. However...
These images are from one of my first experiments with slowing water down. And from the very start the abstract potential of the the technique is what delighted me.
Above is a "relief" of an expansive cascade.
Everyone, including me, was trying to find the right angle to capture the majesty of the bigger perspective.
Then a flash of vibrance caught my eye.
Leaves, pinned within the rush and flow of water over boulders. They kept turning and dancing. Orange and then gold. Twisting, straining, but never floating away.
I was entranced.
The shapes, the colors, the mystery of the current sparkling by.
I HAD to capture that moment.
And then the next.
I was witnessing and craved to pass on an image of fire, trapped and thriving, within water.
Capturing these moments felt as if I was trying to slow the color bursts and explosions within a living kaleidoscope.
The closer I positioned my lens, the more light and pattern and movement I discovered.
I was experiencing and feeling and beginning to flow along with the nature preening beneath the rushing surface.
The water current in relatively brief long exposure shots like these "ghosts" in an almost supernatural way. That's the wispy, white texture you see.
I've had viewers ask if I Photoshopped in all that shimmering movement.
My "water colors," as I call my nature abstracts, are 100% nature.
I work with exposure and contrast and enhance shadow and highlight. Natural hues are tweaked a bit for visual impact.
But what you see is what was actually there, as I froze my fingers off, working over rushing water, shooting straight into the flow, dreaming with my eyes open.
The technique takes practice, a willingness to get wet, and patience.
Oh, and warm clothing if you shooting in mountain water, especially in autumn.
But the only "trick," beyond learning as much as you can about your camera and lens and other equipment, is to see moments of abstract wonder such as these.
Once you begin to, there's no going back.
You'll be "ghosting," too, before you know it!
I hope you share your favorite images, once you do ;o)