Water is the primary resource par excellence and it’s also the thematic thread of my photographic focus. Water as an element offers a thousand interpretations and is a personal source of artistic inspiration for me. Nature inspires me with its beauty and its strength – so different, so dynamic – it creates different photographic opportunities through its power to transform itself.
Specifically, I have always been fascinated by the element water, since it’s possible to capture it in many forms – rain, dew, fog, ice, snow – and thus be able to create ever-changing images.
I love capturing the Dolomites mirrored in an alpine lake, a sunset over the sea, the roar of the water of a waterfall, I love freezing the drops of dew on a leaf or a drop of rain on the car window. One of my favorite shots (“A Lake Full of Stars”) is an aerial photograph taken with a drone over an alpine lake. Thanks to this zenith point of view, I was able to recreate a magical atmosphere in which we can see a trunk of a tree whose dry leaves look like stars in a night sky. I’m in love with this photo.
Three tips I would like to give regarding landscape photography related to water:
1. CHOOSE THE BEST MOMENT OF THE DAY
To photograph water, it’s important to choose the best time of the day, studying the location and the light. The most beautiful images of the lakes are especially successful before sunrise when the water is still as smooth as a mirror. My favorite moments are sunrise and sunset. How beautiful is it to capture the sunset reflected in a lake or the sunrise on top of a snowy mountain? It’s not always the best choice to shoot on a sunny day, and personally, I prefer to shoot during or after a thunderstorm when the sky is cloudy and moody. In these moments, a magical atmosphere is created full of fogs and haze – two forms of water that may be less obvious but visually, very fascinating. Even while the rain or snow falls, it is possible to take evocative shots. The important thing is to choose the best time of the day.
2. DISCOVER THE BEST FRAME
Give space to your creativity. Experiment, test, don’t stop at the usual shots. The lines that guide the eye can capture the central element in the photograph and perform the function of intentionally placed. For example, this could be a drop falling from a tree, a stream or a snowstorm. Choose the perfect angle. For example, thinking of water like a mirror can enhance its reflective qualities when you consider that the reflection of the angle of the incident light is equal to the angle of the reflected light.
3. USE THE RIGHT GEAR
To make the most of an image, it’s important to have the right photographic gear on hand. To capture a waterfall, consider having a wide-angle lens available. For photographing dew drops or snow falling from trees, I prefer a telephoto lens. But to break out of the box and change the perspective angle of the shot, (if possible) try using a drone for some truly breathtaking imagery. To really bring out the reflection in water, use a circular polarizing filter for crisp details. In landscape photography, editing is extremely important. I personally prefer soft editing with colors that reflect reality as much as possible, so I use SpyderX to calibrate my monitor. During my editing workflow I use a laptop and a 27” monitor, both calibrated to give me images that reflect reality.
Typically, we tend to capture water as the human eye perceives it, but photographs of this type can be a bit stiff, lacking creativity. Experiment with what you consider the essence of your water image to be and try using Silk Effect or use the water as a kind of mirror/reflective surface.
When trying to capture reflections in the water, shoot at sunrise or sunset when the water is perfectly still. Since water is fluid and moves, using Silk Effect can lend a dynamic quality to your images. This mode consists of a long exposure of the image by using very long shutter speeds (and possibly ND filters) in order to allow the light reflected by the moving water to affect the sensor, creating a “trail” effect. This name of the technique derives from the fact that moving water, even whirling, appears in the photo as if it were a stretched silk cloth. Another interesting aspect of water to capture is underwater photography. I think it would be a truly fascinating realm to capture with its world full of colors and marine life.
Water has a very important meaning for me in my photographic work. It symbolizes adaptability, discovery, dynamism, and dreams, and I try to depict some aspect of these qualities in every shot I take. I want my photography to emphasize the importance of this natural element, which is indispensable for all of us.