Black River Falls, Black River Falls State Park, Michigan

Growing up, my mom used to call my sister and me her little ducklings. We loved water and played int and swam in nearby lakes. Fast forward to my adult days. The love of water has manifested itself into a passion for making images of water. By far, it is one of my favorite subjects and it doesn’t matter what form the water takes-snow, ice, a small mud puddle, a huge lake, any ocean, a calm mountain lake, a babbling brook, a large river or a waterfall.

Water adds drama to any landscape photograph. A stagnant landscape becomes an awe-inspiring one simply by adding water to the photograph.

Those who know me are aware that one of my favorite subjects is waterfalls. They can be small or large – as long as there is water flowing over any natural object. Bigger isn’t always better. I often gravitate to smaller more intimate waterfalls. Why? Because frequently they are located in out-of-the way areas that require hiking where your average tourist might not go. The more intimate the waterfall, the better the possibilities of creating unique photographs.

Weather always plays a factor in photography. Instead of taking shelter when the rain comes, I gather up the rain gear for my camera and myself, head outside and begin photographing all the wet subjects around me. I particularly enjoy making images of plants, paying close attention to the drops of water. Rain saturates and intensifies the colors.

Fog is also enjoyable as well as challenging to photograph. It adds softness and diffuses harsh light creating a sense of mystery. When thick, the observer cannot always see the details of the scene. This creates a sense of wonder and intrigue.

And, of course, in winter there are the frozen forms of water, ice and snow. If you live in a region that does not receive these forms of water, you are missing out on a treat, along with the headaches. Personally, whenever I observe a good snow photograph it sends shivers over my body. Snow and ice, as any landscape photographer will tell you is often the most difficult subject to capture on film or digital media. Camera meters can cause underexposure as a result of the reflective light off the white snow. Once you master snow exposure, you will discover the joy of winter image making. In fact, those who live in warmer climates might want to partake of a wintry photographic adventure.

Whether water is the centerpiece of your photograph or simply an added dynamic, when available be sure to include it. I guarantee oohs and has from admirers.

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