What is our attraction to flowing water in nature and landscape photography? Most of us will recognize, either consciously or subconsciously, that water as an essential element for life. It's therefore recognized as a symbol of life, with flowing and moving waters symbolizing the continuation of life. The spiritual meaning and simplistic beauty of its movement are why we are drawn to the waters.
The photograph "Flume" is an example of my personal attraction to water. I found the scene while hiking in New Hampshire's White Mountains. A fast moving mountain stream and the passing time has worn a serpentine like channel into the granite rock. I was drawn to the waters flow, it course, and the its path around the log caught in the upper channel. But it was late in the afternoon, with the sun shining brightly through the forest trees. I knew that I wanted to take a long exposure to emphasis motion, so I returned in the early morning before the sun rose above the surrounding mountains.
With my camera on a tripod, I used my lens to crop out any of the surrounding landscape and placed the emphasis solely on the water stream and rock. I photographed at F16 so I that I could maintain focus throughout the image and with ISO 100 I had a 4 minute exposure. I check the results in the camera and then duplicated the image again. I also repeated the photograph increasing the ISO and reducing the speed but the original settings provided the image results that I liked best. I converted the image to black and white in post processing. Black and white complemented the minimalistic nature of the image.
For me the photograph displays a spiritual and meditative quality. The rushing waters misty flow curving through the deep and smoothly worn path symbolizes the continuation and determination of its course over many years. The waters path will not be obstructed. The continuation of its flow ensures the continuation of life. The photographs a display of the beauty and power of flowing water in nature and the natural landscape.