22/08/13Usually, water reveals its colour character at the outset. Shades of black, green, red, brown or blue which hint at the nature of what lies within and beneath. Algae blooms, cimmerian-hued volcanic rock, dirty river tannin run-off and the nexus of blue. Blue that’s painted in every shade from tropical turquoise to a deep azure and beyond.
The trick of course, is to use the water colour to your advantage.
Understanding how the light travels and behaves in the many faces of water seems such an obvious fundamental. So, after too many broken results, I’ve been paying a little more attention to the mood of the medium. The boon being that it allows for a certain amount of ground dressing. And that’s a good thing, since once I’m cocooned within inner space, I’m too easily spellbound by its inhabitants.
But what do you do when an environment throws everything in the spectrum at you? Take it to the limit and enjoy the chaos! Crystal River, refuge of thermally-sensitive creatures with its hot springs, sand and rocky topography would typically be well, crystal clear. That’s what the name implies after all. Mermaids and myth! Silt-outs, red tides and strange, still redder aquatic dust, patches of gin-clear eternity, green-tinged murk, early morning black water - it's a water beetle's paradise.
And therein lies the first truth about water. That it pleases itself.
I like it when an unexpected cold snap brings interesting things with it. In this instance, it was those magical and delicate, heat-loving creatures. Manatees in their droves, headed torpedo-like towards the sanctuary of gently bubbling, steamy springs. Such was their haste that they quite literally bumped you out of the way if the crow couldn’t fly a straighter route.
Clearly, they have it right. Since another truth about water, mesmerising as it can be, is its ability to freeze a different temperature-sensitive species into immobility, the very second you overstay your welcome. As this random musing is all about revelations, a curious, little known truth about mermaids and manatees is this ... once they’ve hit the hot spot, there’s no room at the inn.
So much for shared warmth, it gives that feeling of being left out in the cold a whole new dimension.
Photographed at Three Sisters Spring, Crystal River. Florida.
ISO 200. f/4. 1/80 secs. Lens - 15mm Fisheye