Soft Water

Lower Calf Creek Falls, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
Lower Calf Creek Falls, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Shooting water in all its endless variety is one of the creative pleasures of nature photography. From drops of dew reflecting a crisp autumn morning to the power of cascading falls frozen in time, the camera allows many unique perspectives of our most abundant resource that are seldom seen in a passing glance.

A polarizing filter is a favorite tool for photographing water as it slows exposure and increases contrast, both of which serve to enhance the emotional response to a scene. While some may say this is altering reality, it’s good to remember that art is more about personal expression than documentation.

“Most creative photographs are departures from reality and it seems to take a higher order of craft to make this departure than to simulate reality.” ~Ansel Adams

This image of Calf Creek Falls in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was made on an overcast day with a long exposure of 20 seconds. The cloudy sky diffused the harsh mid-day light and saturated the colors of the moss covered rock, while the slow shutter speed gave the falls a silky look.

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved

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