Since I posted the dew photographs last week, I’ve been thinking about the kind of photographic discoveries (often “accidents”) that have informed my photography. The first time I saw dew like that the seeing just blew my mind. Really, I felt dizzy! Now I can look for similar situations—and others with multiple light sources—and really work them for more than I ever imagined.
A similar mind expansion happened the first time I really saw reflections in water. Of course I’d looked at water many times before but I had never really seen it. Somehow isolating it in the viewfinder was an important difference but so was just letting go and seeing it as it was. After seeing came understanding, experimenting and then mastering certain techniques that are now part of my quiver.
I suspect it is similar to what a painter must feel having become accomplished with certain techniques and colors—there is “control” but also serendipity and discovery. Thankfully digital images allow me to make dozens and dozens of photographs and delete most (or all!) without a worry and, in the process, learn so much.
The following is some work I did last fall in Amsterdam, a city rich both with colors and canals full of ever-changing, rippled water, a goldmine for seeing and playing with light reflections. Interestingly I’ve also discovered there is a whole language available to describe and discuss reflections in water! More on that later. Words are not necessary here.