Ness Gardens – capturing water

Waterfall, Ness Gardens

Some more photos from Ness Gardens. I went there thinking I might be able to get some shots that would work for my current assignment.  I’m working on a set of 12 photos that emulate the style of Ernst Haas, and I wanted to concentrate on the kind of work he did for his book The Creation.  This was an ambitious attempt to tell the biblical creation story in pictures, and is divided into three parts: the elements, the seasons, and the creatures.  In order to narrow it down a bit, I thought I’d stick to the section on the elements and was even thinking that I might just do water and forget about earth, air and fire (I feel I might have particular trouble with the fire element as, unlike Haas, I don’t have access to many volcanoes).  I’m not at all sure about this and it will probably depend on what I manage to achieve image-wise.  The idea is to capture the essence and feeling of that element, as it might have been as the earth was being formed, so  man-made intrusions aren’t welcome.  As you can see, all except possibly the last one fail on these grounds, but my close-up images of the water itself simply didn’t work.

Haas wasn’t a great one for realism, preferring to use an abstract approach that expressed his feeling about the subject matter.  I already have a small number of shots that I’m happy with and think will work for my assignment – you can see one of these previous attempts at capturing the water element here.

Waterfall, Ness Gardens

Waterfall, Ness Gardens

Waterfall, Ness Gardens

There’s something about the combination of reflections in water with things floating on its surface that I find intriguing.  These two shots are much closer in spirit to what I want to achieve, but unfortunately don’t make the grade either, as they’re not really saying ‘water’ and aren’t close enough to Haas’ style.

Water and sky, Ness Gardens

Tree reflections, Ness Gardens

I really like the richness of colour in this one, although it reminds me more of Eliot Porter than Ernst Haas:


And I love the light in this shot, and that red leaf, although it’s not at all what I’m trying to do for my assignment.

Pool, Ness Gardens

Anyway, I did at least acquire another two shots for my ‘Fallen’ series (if you missed my posts about it, see here and here).  I’m not too happy with the amount of contrast in the first one – I think it’s a bit harsh, and actually the more I look at it, the less I like it and I think it might end up being trashed.  I’m much happier with the second one – I like the way the light is falling in this one.  I added a small amount of vignetting to hold the attention on the leaf.


Fallen leaf