Shooting Water as a Subject

One thing I’ve learned from flipping through page after page of negatives I’d shot, is that I seem to be drawn to using water as a Subject in my composition. I see photos of water splashing against a rock at Old Orchard Beach, or a black & white shot of wood pylons in the water at Perkins Pier, or even just a reflective mud puddle in my driveway.

As I experiment with using water as the main subject I learn tricks, such as over-exposing the shot to account for the way the light meter measures the glare of reflected sunlight, or using a faster shutter speed to capture the movement more crisply, or to slow down the shutter speed to make the surface of the water seem more smooth and formless (try shooting a waterfall with a fast shutter speed, then another one at 1/30 to see what I mean).

So many days I will want to go out and shoot something, anything really, and have no good ideas in mind. These are great opportunities just to pack a roll of Ilford Delta into my Olympus, or some Tri-X into my Mamiya, and head to the lake. If I wander around long enough something will assuredly capture my interest.