Travel Photo Thursday: Capturing A River

Travel Photo Thursday: Capturing A River

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(Randy Son of Robert Flickr)

Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

That literary line of lament comes from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The lament of a traveler trying to photograph a river might read:

Water water, everywhere, how to capture it, let me think.”

Here are three different ways I “captured” Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park.

Contextual Shot

Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park

The composition of this photo adds context while the falls themselves are simply one—and not the most prominent—feature of the image.

The rocky ledge jutting out from the left is actually the “main subject” of this shot. You can tell that it must be next to a waterfall on a river because you can see the frothy green water flowing behind, and down past it.

The “piney” tree says that the photo was probably taken somewhere in the mountains.

Having a person standing or sitting in front of the rock would have added scale to the photo. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a willing “model” handy.

“Waterpower” Shot

Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park

The rocks play second fiddle to the river flow in this shot.

They mark the upper and lower boundaries of the photo, and its edges.

And their tannish tint provides a warm contrast to the cool green of the water rushing by them.

But unlike the first shot, this one is intended to emphasize the sheer power of the water as it cascades over Sunwapta Falls.

And it warns the viewer: This not the good old “swimming hole” that you hung out at on a hot summer’s day when you were a kid. Dive in here and you’re dead.

Rock of Ages

Sunwapta Falls, Jasper National Park

In this shot, the river steps into the background, while a rock takes center stage in this final photo of Sunwapta Falls.

How long has that brown boulder been sitting in the stream? Perhaps since the end of the last Ice Age when glaciers retreating toward the crest of the Canadian Rockies left it sitting high and dry, only to be later inundated by their icy meltwaters and the liquefaction of seasonal snows.

The “whitecaps” imply that the river is pushing the giant stone steadily downstream.  But is it even being budged a single inch?

That’s the mystery that this photo leaves you to solve.

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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7 Replies to “Travel Photo Thursday: Capturing A River”

  1. Great photo tips, Dick! Water is a difficult image to capture – both the texture and size often not quite being as good in the photo as it was in real life – maybe what is missing is the sound that accompanies it. . .

  2. Great shots, Dick. The rock in the last one does look like it’s not moving an inch but then again, the water might be eroding it ever so gently each year.

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