To convey how I feel about water, I decided to use the medium of photography. I had a photography teacher who told us of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” where a scene’s actions intersect in a single instant that makes a striking photograph. To me, this makes the difference between a good photograph and a great photograph. I tried to use this theory when I was photographing a continuously moving subject; water. I have always been very passionate about water and feel at peace when I am around it. I have also noticed that being in different settings where water is faster or slower, shallow or deep, etc. can invoke parallel emotions in me. Through this photography project, I have put together pictures that represent different emotions and I hope create these emotions in the viewer.
It is important to have a connection such as this to water because if someone has an emotional connection to something, they will be more motivated to protect it. In class we discussed the viewpoints of indigenous peoples such as the Onondaga Nation and their view on water. To the Onondaga, their lake’s “waters, plants, fish, shore birds, and animals are an intrinsic part of our existence.” Not only does this source of water provide them with resources, but it carries a significant emotional importance to the people since “long ago, the Peacemaker brought together the five Nations on the shores of Onondaga Lake to bury the weapons of war.” Due to this substantial historical and emotional connection to Onondaga Lake, the indigenous people of that area are fiercely passionate about keeping it clean and conserving it for future generations. It is a passion like this one that motivates people from being informed about an issue to putting all of their energy into it.
Click on the pictures to see them full size (sorry some of them have a blue-ish tint. The scanner wasn’t that great).