French Alps, 2016
Glacial runoff hits the crest of this waterfall with so much force that the water is launched upwards, far into the air, before gravity prevails and sends it all plunging into the depths of the pool below. Equally impressive is the cliff opposite the drop, which bears a massive indentation where the waterfall has been carving through it for centuries. With mist sailing hundreds of feet into the sunlit heights of the valley, the grand spectacle of this place triggers a whole range of feelings: fear, respect, awe, reverie, excitement, and passion all come out in turns.
Having such a variety of reactions reminds me of going through the inevitable highs and lows of the creative process or of a close relationship, both of which can result in a rollercoaster of episodes that ideally leaves us better off for having endured it. In either case, it’s usually best to stay attuned to what really matters and let it point the way forward. That’s essentially what I did when I decided to freeze the motion of this waterfall instead of smoothing it out with a typical motion blur treatment. Trying to tame the waterfall with a long exposure only robbed it of its power and character by obscuring the unique propulsion of its water. This waterfall is exuberant, wild, and powerful, just like the best experiences in life.
So often simple acceptance is a good option for anything that is really intense…just go with it, and appreciate the feelings that let you know you’re alive.