Photography is used to create lasting impressions that touch the souls of all who view the images. One of the best images that a photographer can take is that of water.
Whether it is the ripple effect or the silent disturbance we see moving across the water’s edge, this subject is one to truly behold. There are some areas to look out for when taking photographs of water to ensure that you will get the best image possible and this article will address those areas, guaranteeing that each shot is one of spectacular beauty and unforgettable presence.
Study the Water
The first thing a person should do is sit quietly and study the body of water which will serve as your subject. You simply cannot just start popping off pictures and hope for the best. Water moves in an artistic manner and this is what you are looking to observe. It leaves a certain look as it flows around obstacles in the water, along the shore and even in heavy wind and current.
You need to find the image that you see in your minds eye in the water itself. There is no reason to rush and hastily glance over the water. Relax and take in all that you see. Water is calming and beautiful and you are looking for the right spot, the right moment and the right time of day to capture the image you desire that will tell a story visually to all who see it.
Consider the Lighting
One of the aspects that many photographers forget when taking a photo of water is where the light is reflecting on it. Now in some cases, you may want the shadows adding depth to the ripples or waves in the water without light reflecting on it. In other instances you may see dark waters with a light reflection that appears to be a walkway across the top of the water itself.
There are simply a million ways that light can make or break your photo and the reflective nature of water adds to this fact. Decide what exactly you are wanting viewers to see in the image and adjust your location to accommodate light reflection or remove it from the subject area that you are photographing.
Look for Reflections
Always take note of abstract reflections in the water. These are the colors and reflections of surrounding subjects that form abstract shapes and designs in the water due to the ripples or current on the surface. A red flower on the shore could leave a large area of red reflecting on the waters surface that appears as if red paint is mixing with the water at the surface. Abstract reflections can also appear to be a swirling kaleidoscope of colors.
These reflections are more than beautiful scenes to record forever in image form. They can represent a story or feeling to someone that makes them smile during difficult times. People see what they want in abstract art and the same goes for photographs, except abstract reflections are natures art and nothing makes a more beautiful image to take.
Now on the “what to look out for that you may want to ignore category” is bubbles rising to the waters surface. While at times, these make for a nice image if all the conditions are right, in most cases, they simply draw attention away from the image that you are trying to capture.
Another item to avoid when taking water pictures is foam. Look out for this, as it rarely leads to a nice image and often means the water is high in algae as well as other contaminants leading to poor subject matter as the body of water may be dark and cloudy and simply not photograph well.
Using water as a subject matter for photography can lead to some absolutely phenomenal images if time is taken to observe your surroundings and the water itself. Try to visualize a story with what you see when studying the water and capture exactly what you want the image to represent. If you take into consideration the suggestions given, your images will be those that you are proud of and can share with loved ones for a lifetime.