Photography 101: Water

For day three, we want to see your interpretation of water — how might your image reveal more about you?

Image by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

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A source of life. A place of recreation. A calming presence, but also a destructive force.

We have different relationships to and stories about water: how it has saved or defeated us. How it reminds us of family vacations, outdoor adventures, or the hot summers of our childhood. How it might also symbolize a place we’ve left behind, or a location we dream to go.

Here’s Tomales Bay in Northern California at dusk, before a nighttime kayak ride:

How will you interpret this theme? How can you tell a story with water?

In your street shot, you established a scene with a background, foreground, and a focal point within it. Apply this thinking to your water shot — and to your upcoming photographs this month. The tips in this course are cumulative, which means these shooting tips all work together to help you create better photographs!

Tip: Ever wonder whether a photograph will work better horizontally or vertically? It’s a great question to ask when looking through your viewfinder! Humans have binocular vision — which means we have two eyes, adjacent to one another — and naturally scan a scene along a horizontal, rather than vertical, plane.

After you snap your picture, rotate your camera and take another shot from the other orientation — horizontally if you first took the picture vertically, and vice versa. If you’re aiming for an establishing shot, what orientation works better? How does a vertical shot affect your scene? I opted for a horizontal shot above, as I wanted to capture more of the bay in the background.

You’re welcome to publish one or both versions of your image — and are free to talk about your shooting process, too.

Note: Comments on Photo 101 posts are closed — please use the Commons to share your new posts, discuss today’s theme and tip, and chat with fellow participants. If you choose not to use the Commons, just be sure to tag your post with photo101 so others can find your submission in the Reader. 

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