Mystic Waters of Niagara Falls

Hey everyone, I hope y’all had a great week. This past Wednesday, I drove up to the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region and saw the Falls for the first time. This was kind of a last minute vacation I had originally planned and I ended up also taking my friend, Aubrey, with me. We stayed at an Airbnb in Buffalo which was roughly 16 miles from the Falls.

I had been thinking of driving up to the Falls since last year and decided that before the start of my final year in undergrad, I should just go and experience it. I of course took my DSLR (now a definite staple on all my packing lists) and aimed for more abstract shots this time (mostly trying to play with the heavy mist and the foamy waters from the Falls). I did end up taking a bunch of representational shots (mostly images of the Maid of the Mist) and thought it would be interesting to mix the representational with the more abstract (for example, the Maid of the Mist getting lost in the misty waters at the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls, shown directly below).

Another thing that interests me is humanity’s desire to push limits and keep going forward as much as possible. To relate this to the Falls, it’s a strange relationship because as much as we need water to survive, it doesn’t care for human life; you could easily drown yet the Maid of the Mist is an attempt to get as close to the Horseshoe Falls as humanly possible. Looking through my photos again, I realized that I’m very interested in humanity’s place both alongside and within nature. The Maid of the Mist, to me, is an accurate representation of our attempt to dominate nature in safely getting close to the rapidly flowing water of the Horseshoe Falls, while also attempting to become closer and more intimate with the water and feel connected to something much bigger than human life.

The two shots shown directly above are the same except the left image had its brightness lowered and the contrast boosted a bit. I wasn’t sure which one I liked more (I enjoy the lightness, both in feel and in color, of the mist on the right, but the darks shown on the left personally draw me in more and more closely portray how I feel the foamy water at the bottom of the Falls should be represented). As I was looking at this image in particular, it very much reminded me of this painting (shown below) by Russian Romantic painter, Ivan Aivazovsky. He’s considered a master of marine art and seascapes and is one of my favorites.

Aivazovsky’s paintings are definitely something I keep in mind when photographing moving water, I like the aggressive and godly qualities of his paintings and attempt to get the same feel whenever I photograph moving water (my own exploration into connecting to water but at the same time recognizing that it is very powerful and much stronger than I, not something I desire to dominate…but in a way I believe photographing the water is subconsciously my attempt to dominate the water/nature).

I hope you enjoy the photos and my ramblings about water! Until next time, have a great week and take care of yourselves!

2 thoughts on “Mystic Waters of Niagara Falls

    1. thank you so much! it was very wonderful to visit niagara falls for the first time…almost nobody was at the park, too!

      and yes, i’ve loved aivazovsky’s work for years, now 🙂 take care!

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