Water by Mark D. Whitney
Artist: Mark D. Whitney
Media: Digital Photograph

Water, Water, Every Where

“Water, water, every where…” and you know the rest. Or maybe not. Do they still have kids read the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge in school? It’s the story of a sailor that wantonly kills an albatross and incurs the wrath of the spirits against himself and his crew. One of the famous verses from the poem is:

Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.

Referring to the fact that they were floating on a ocean of water, but there was no fresh water for drinking.

And water really is everywhere; from the far reaches of the solar system to the chemical structures of our bodies.

Yesterday was the end of the Cassini spacecraft mission to Saturn. Launched back in 1997 Cassini has been studying the planet and its moons since it arrived there in 2004. It found water in a bunch of places especially on the moon Enceladus that has a subterranean water ocean that shoots geysers of ice and water vapor into space.

Closer to home scientists are discovering ways that water makes life possible from the inside out. New research shows that water molecules encase and shape our DNA, the very heart of what makes us human.

I love taking photographs of water. It can be so many things – cold and clear, warm and murky, running fast or still and quiet. Water can be clouds or dew or oceans or snow flakes.

I like how water changes its appearance depending on how it’s photographed. Long or short exposure times can change it from a smooth continuous stream into shining spheres or sharp needles. With the right filter, the camera can see through the water and into its depths or without it capture reflections of sun and sky on the surface.

Water will always be my favorite subject.


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