TOP PHOTO 013 | Rio Tinto - 2 Overview |
Top Photo 8 was taken along the Rio Tinto (to be translated as Red River), and at that stage I give the background of the peculiar colours and structures that you may encounter there.
Here we see a totally different shot from that river. I have chosen this photo, which I have made earlier on, because people often ask me questions about it at exhibitions and presentations. At first sight it looks as if a long exposure time was used since the picture suggests movement. However, if you look carefully (actually you should see the bigger original) you will notice that everything is dead sharp; like it were frozen.
The photo is made in the early morning at a broadening part of the Rio Tinto, just after a small cascade. It looks like a small lake with hardly any water flow. Usually the contaminated water at the cascade foams considerably. In daytime changing winds in the valley spread the foam particles over the water. They don’t show much structure and often spoil the composition. At night, usually there is no wind and the foam sticks to the cascade. So by dawn a whole supply of foam is collected. Then, when the first sunrays hit the valley and the wind slowly returns, the foam sometimes starts spreading around very beautifully. It forms strings, very slowly circling around, allowing a relatively slow shutter speed in view of the small aperture needed. This morning I was particularly lucky, encountering two-coloured foam. One has to be quick; after a quarter of an hour or so, the scene is over.

Hasselblad 120mm f/22 + polar, tripod, Kodak E100VS