Thursday, April 23, 2009

Throwing stones into water

click photo to enlarge
Throwing stones into water used to be one of my favourite past times as a child. Growing up next to a rocky river it just seemed like the natural thing to do. There was something very satisfying about hurling a water-smoothed pebble in a curving arc through the air and watching as it made a splash and concentric ripples that the current swiftly carried away.

To a small boy and his friend a stick thrown into the centre of the flow became a warship and we the artillery that lobbed shell after shell, surrounding the vessel with plumes of spray, or forcing it under the surface with a direct hit, only to see it bob up again. Rocks sticking up out of the river became islands that the ship hid behind, forcing us to increase the angle of our throws to make the pebbles drop steeply from above and drive it out from its cover. A morning's fun could be had for no cost at all. Well, a small cost. One particular resident of the market town in which I grew up would stop as he walked across the nearby footbridge and berate us for throwing stones into the river. Quite what harm he thought we were doing I don't know, but we dutifully stopped, only to re-commence when he was out of sight and earshot.

Standing on the promenade at Cromer watching this small girl throw pebbles into the sea transported me back to those days, and I took this photograph of her endeavours. She was aiming to make big splashes, and succeeded at every attempt. Very satisfying! I used the strong zig-zag of the nearby breakwater to make a composition with the figure, and converted the resulting image to black and white to emphasise the pattern. And, perhaps, to further recall my own time throwing stones in the river in the days when the world was black and white.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 150mm (300mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/1250 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On