Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Photographs by Stephen: The Domestication of Water

To varying degrees, all my posted photographs reflect both goals of the assignment, to be somewhat ambiguous as to the subject and to use a wide range of values in the presentation of the water element. If there are any you can't identify, let me know and eventually I will reveal their origins in the comments.


Nathan L said...
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Nathan L said...

4. So much motion here--are you pouring out a cup onto some cement? You must be shooting a quick shutter speed--you really froze the action.

I love how the stream comes into focus as it approaches the ground. Then you've got that almost perfectly circular ripple...super!

5. Is this your toilet bowl? I was really hoping for a toilet bowl shot! The water's not smooth, so maybe you just flushed it? I'm confused by the 1/4 circle in the top right.

6. This must be taken from inside your shower. I'm guessing the light rectangle is your bathroom doorway. This one reminds me, I'm putting it in our bylaws that you can't work on an assignment in the nude.

Nathan L said...

First, my guesses; then my comments:
1. Looking down into a glassful of water

The concentric rings of light in the dark glass feel contained and orderly, then my eye encounters that brilliant beam streaking out of the glass, carrying me into the rest of the image. Very satisfying contrasts here, too.

2. The same glass from the side (which clarified #1)

Do you need to do the dishes? Whoops, I got sidetracked...just thinking back to the Ish...

The blocks of black and gray really illustrate the way light refracts at different angles along different surfaces.

Compositionally, I don't know quite where to look here.

3. Ice--in your icemaker?

Is the light source beneath the ice? Cool, cool lighting.

This compositionally rocks. The angles and shades of the ice keep my attention. I love the way some ice edges gather so much light. That subtle, horizontal line keeps my eye subconsciously down where it ought to be.

Dan said...


These shots are really great. I really like the ice-maker (thanks nathan, wouldn't have known otherwise). I thought it was flowers at first!

some thoughts on the last two shots.
I really like the next to last one. I'm thinking, the intake for a fountain or something?

The last shot looks like an ultrasound! Now, in that vein of thinking, it doesn't necessarily match with the idea of the domestication of water so much, but makes a KILLER argument for water as the giver of life!

good stuff.


Stephen said...


Nathan, you are right about the first three, but you should know that that is a clean glass I filled for the occasion. I didn't want fingerprints. On the second one, I was hoping the tiny bubbles would be the focus, but they may be too small. In the third one the translucent bin of my ice maker is lit from below by the freezer light.

The fourth is the faucet running in an large sink on the back of my house. I used my on-camera flash fastest shutter speed I could (1/200 s). The round splash showed up in a lot of my shots, but I could not see it with my eye. I like that, in the top half of the picture, you can see the shadow of the stream but the stream itself blends in.

The fifth is looking down into the tank of my toilet. The round thing in the top right corner is the tube wear the water comes in. I jiggled the handle to make the bubbles.

The last one is condensation on the lid of a pot. I had just made some rice, which was getting cold as I shot this. This one is exactly the way it came off my camera. The bright band is from the on-camera flash on the metal surface. The color is due to a weird white balance setting—florescent, I think.