(* Note: Special geeky, nerd points for whoever can identify the movie that the quote in the title of this image comes from!)
I look at my images and the work that I make as not just pictures but more of a recording of my life. Looking at them triggers memories of the location, how I made the image, technical challenges, weather conditions and my general state of being at the time I shot the photograph. I really do love what I do and getting out into the trees and capturing images of where I live gives me a great sense of satisfaction. I always love to challenge myself to make the next image I shoot or the new location I find better than the last. Today’s image was a convergence of several factors that made it’s capture possible.
This river follows a trail which goes up to the top of Mount Mansfield and the river itself winds its way down through the towns of Underhill and Jericho. I have hiked this river many times and just when I think I have exhausted all of its potential a new composition shows itself to me. This particular section of the river is a challenge to shoot because the shoreline on either side is thick woods with not many selections for compositions. I have looked at this composition several times, Pondering how I could best shoot it when by accident I finally found my way to shoot this scene.
The day and night before I made this image was rainy…Very rainy. I woke up with not much hope that the rain would subside but to my delight it was cloudy and overcast with no rain and only a slight drizzle. The air temperature was warm and humid creating fog conditions and the perfect backdrop for some good forest photography. You can see a bit of this fog in the upper third of the image! The heavy rains caused some pretty swift moving rivers with good water flow which in turn created a foam on the surface of the water near some of these waterfalls. I had not even noticed the swirling foam until I made several test images for exposure and saw the image on my LCD. The challenge here was the swirls of foam and timing them correctly.
As you can see in this image the upper and lower swirls are moving in two different directions and at different speeds! I shot in total 17 captures to get just the right movement that I was looking for. Below the camera position here is some very smooth and slippery rock which you can set a tripod up on but it was a challenge to compose and shoot on it. The slope of the rock here meant I had to brace myself with my feet on the rock to keep from slipping downwards. The movement in the water and the swirling foam to me is what makes this image work.
Image Data: Manual mode. ISO 100. 17mm. F13 @ 6 seconds. Cokin P series circular polarizer. Three image composite for the swirls and for focus. Because of the difference in speed and timing of the upper and lower swirls I had to make a blended image to get the look I was going for. While I made many single captures none of them could do this image justice like a blended one could. The first shot was for focus on the stump and river bank, The second was for the swirling in the foreground and the third was for focus and the swirling in the background.