Ghost In The Stream

I took advantage of a mid-50's weekend in March (courtesy of El Nino again!) and did some hiking along a stream in the Pocono Mountains.  I had photographed some water reflections on the same stream this past autumn and I wanted to see how different the colors would be in the winter - or even if there were any colors.  Not surprisingly, the colors were not as vivid as they were in October.  But there were interesting patterns and I carefully framed the photograph looking for the best combination of colors and swirls.

And when I viewed the image on the back of the camera to see if the exposure was correct, I couldn't believe what I saw.  I certainly didn't see the face in the water when I made the photograph.  I quickly looked back into the viewfinder and there it was - and then it was gone - and then it was back again.  The moving water made it flicker in and out of existence.  Was it really there?  Did it really exist?  It was a little strange to be honest!

The photo sequence below gives you an idea of what I saw in the viewfinder.  These are three sequential images with the camera in exactly the same spot on the tripod.  First the face is there, then it disappears with only a trace of features remaining, and then it starts to come back.  I can still remember the strangeness of it.

There is a road along the stream where these photographs were taken.  I'm guessing less than 10% of the people who drive that road ever get out and walk along the stream.  And I believe less than 10% have truly looked closely at the water to see the shapes and colors that swirl about.  And maybe nobody has ever seen the face in the stream!  It reminds me of why I photograph - I do it to look more closely, to see things I might otherwise not see, and to share them with friends and family.


Brian ReitenauerComment