Flowing water is infinitely attractive. It’s common to capture waterfalls through long exposures to get that seductive silkiness.
Waterfalls can be as beautiful as the human body.
One little project I have is to make a time lapse movie with long time exposures of waterfalls, ideally in Iceland, over 24 hours, taking one shot every minute, which would give a single one minute long clip.
Then one can also capture instants time with very short exposures, dissolving the flow of a water into isolated droplets.
Here the plan would be to create a slow-motion film, taking hundreds of shots a minute, and exposing each for 1/8000 of a second, so that we can follow each droplet for much longer that it takes to fall.
The longest trail in Hocking Hills State Park is nicknamed Grandma’s Trail, and it’s an 11 mile roundtrip.
It leads to rather remote regions of the park, making it ideal for self-isolation. The six hours it takes to hike it is an opportunity to contemplate the passing of time, both our own, and the inherent time of the landscape.
Spatial and temporal distance merge in rare views like the one above (from a fire tower).
Then there is an abundance of waterfalls and rock faces: Do we want change, or do we want permanence?
Spectacular views like the one below are rare, reminding us that there is not only passing time, but also meaning.
The trail ends at Ash Cave, another large recess cave with a waterfall.
The enormous overhang provides shelter, but is also an ominous threat: How long will it hold?
The most prominent feature of Hocking Hill’s State Park is Old Man’s Cave, reportedly the home of a hermit who lived there in the late 17th century. If not for the visitors, this place comes close to my ideal of a place for contemplation.
The recess cave itself is very open, like a balcony, and unsuitable for permanent shelter. This is where we stop, free our mind of ourselves, and let the raw landscape take its effect.
Another view is downstream, towards the bridge. This is the place to contemplate decisions. Three paths meet here. So one has a threefold choice: remain in the cave, or cross the bridge, and then continue either left or right. We will talk about the two latter options next week.
From the bridge itself, one has the view onto a serene waterfall. This is the place to find focus.
Finally, if we decide to leave, there is always the look back, turning presence into memory.