Monday, July 26, 2010

Water Dance

Water Dance 4, 2010

(Double Click to see Larger)

On Friday morning, when I should have been in the office diligently wrapping up a client report, I instead slipped out to turn the water sprinkler on a allée of hydrangeas in the side yard that have been particularly distressed by all this heat we’ve been having lately.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that I was also suffering from a bit of writer’s block and needed something to distract me before I could return to thinking more clearly about what I wanted to say in the report. (Writer’s block comes to me not in the form of not knowing what to write, but rather how to organize all the noisy things that are bouncing around in my head. There’s a probably a perfectly safe medication for this. But I’d rather have colliding ideas than risk having none at all.)

In any event, I set the sprinkler down on the garden path between the rows of hydrangeas and looked down to check my legs for ticks. As I lifted my head back up I happened to see the sun shining through the fountain of water coming out of the sprinkler. Rather than take in the literal view, though, it was as if my eyes focused on the water at a more molecular level.

I ran inside to grab a camera and came back and shot a few pictures. The first ones were pretty “expected.” Then I started slowing down the shutter speed.

Sprinkler in the Back Yard, 2010

Interesting, but nothing special. Then I started increasing the shutter speed. That seemed to capture more of what my eye was seeing. Water Dance 4, above, and Water Dance 7 are the result of that. I like the Brownian Motion, like sparks, in Water Dance 4, while Water Dance 7 looks like something Van Gogh might have painted.

Other than a little cropping, all of these images are straight out of the camera with very minimal post processing.

Water Dance 7, 2010


  1. Wonderful effects, Chris. I'm going to have to start experimenting with shutter speeds. Thanks for sharing these and for the inspiration.

  2. you inspired me, Im going out with my sprinkler TodaY! Not lying!:)

  3. Really beautiful. In lieu of rain, we make our own. I feel uplifted by your images.

  4. Wow--those are stunning! I love the colors in the water--really a lovely series!

    It IS really hot out there!

  5. Wow! Glad you stopped to smell the roses!

  6. The pictures are great. The writing is even better. I love the way you talk to yourself. And the notion that you will avoid a medication and continue with "colliding ideas". Wonderful fantasy! Thanks.

  7. Writer's block turns into photography art. You are very nimble!