Around the water my photos, my words

A few months ago, when I was searching my database of more than 100,000 photos looking for a specific shot, I suddenly realized how many photos I had where water played a significant role in the scene.

East coast … west coast … gulf coast … north coast (Lake Erie) … lakes … ponds … rivers … streams … I had thousands of water-related photos on file.

So I decided to select a subset from the thousands to use as a featured gallery for July.

Pilings in foggy San Francisco Bay, a ship anchored on the horizon and a lone seagull, near Pier 30, San Francisco.

Water makes an excellent subject to add to a landscape scene. When calm, water acts as a mirror that reflects surrounding objects. When disturbed, the ripples supply a sense of motion to the scene. When rough, as before or during a storm, the waves create a sensation of urgency, of danger, of violence.

A stream flowing through a wooded landscape creates a sense of serenity.

The setting sun silhouettes sailboats moored in the Hudson River between 27th and 28th streets in New York City.

Sunrises or sunsets over bodies of water extend the color of the sky throughout the scene. The same is true of a foggy water scene, where the lack of color is reflected by the water.

Placing an object in a photo next to a vast body of water creates a sense of isolation, of smallness, of infinity.

Bird perches on pilings during a stormy sunset, March 1978, Naples, Fla.

Water can be the primary focus of a scene, or it can be secondary — or complementary — to the primary subject.

That makes water a very flexible and useful subject to photograph.

Sunrise reflecting in pool, Westin Diplomat, Hollywood, Fla.

The photos I’ve included in this gallery have water playing each of the roles I’ve mentioned. It may seem comprehensive, but it isn’t intentional. I didn’t have a project or goal to create a range of water-related photos. After carrying a camera with me for much of the last four decades, it just happened.

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Created By
Pat Hemlepp


All photos and text © Copyright - Pat D. Hemlepp. All rights reserved.

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