The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee

I’ve been watching the Lens-Artists Challenges from the sidelines, but when Anne Sandler chose as the topic, water, a subject that I’m particularly drawn to, I couldn’t resist submitting my own rendition. I love to photograph water in all its forms.

And when it does it makes for a wonderful subject, particularly when shot at a sloooowww shutter speed.

Jacobs Falls, Michigan


Winnewissa Falls, Minnesota.

“Let the shores tell you the beauty of the ocean waves.” ~ Aisha S. Kingu

I’m fortunate enough to live near the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. Frequently during the dark days of the pandemic I went out to the coast with my camera, because it was one of the few places considered safe to go during the winter months. Wintertime is the best time to photograph the waves as it’s during the winter that the waves are the most intense.

For me a wave is a contradiction. It’s violence and power when it smashes the coastal rocks can leave me awestruck, yet at the same time there is a calming quality about it.

Rockaway Beach, Pacifica, California


A wave smashes into the rocks near Fort Point, San Francisco

“Invite Tranquility
The sea,–
Something to look at
When we are angry.”
~ Reiko Chiba, Hiroshige’s Tokaido in Prints and Poetry

A calm day on the Pacific Ocean off Muir Beach Marin County, CA

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress.” ~ Margaret Atwood

Des Moines River, Ottumwa, Iowa

“A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Northern Michigan.

“Make your heart like a lake with a calm, still surface and great depths of kindness.”
– Lao Tzu

Sunrise over Copper Harbor MI from Mt. Brockway

And then there’s a plain old glass of water.

In a pinch – or for a hangover – there’s nothing quite so refreshing.

To see Anne’s take on Water, visit her site, Slow Shutter Speed. From her site you can find links to other entries by visiting her comments section.

24 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #187: Water

  1. Anne Sandler says:

    Paul, I’m so glad you took the plunge! 😊 I hope you join LAPC again–soon. Your images are amazing. I especially enjoyed the waves hitting the shoreline like the one in Rockawy Beach. And your words leave me with a new appreciation of water. Take care.

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Anne,
      Thank you for the kind words and thank you for choosing water as the subject. I love photographing water, more than dogs and kids and wildlife. Well, maybe that’s because water is such a cooperative subject.

  2. Lovely water falls, great spray. I kept saying things like that to myself until I got to that last photo. Speechless. It’s beautiful.

    1. Paul says:

      You, have wonderful website.
      I wanted to start with that.
      Next – thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate the kind words but more so had you not commented I would not have had the opportunity to find your blog.
      Thank you

      1. Thank you for your very kind words

  3. Jane Fritz says:


    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Jane.
      Be well.

  4. I love how you brought us water in all its various movements right down to the last still glass

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Laura,
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.
      Water is truly nature’s Swiss Army knife. It’s not only essential to maintaining our lives but it’s just a great photo subject in all of its forms from rain to snow to bodies of water to ice.
      Thank you again

  5. Ah water: It can be beautiful, frightening, delicious, spiteful, and mysterious. Love your photos. Cheers, Muriel

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Muriel,
      Thank you for reading and commenting.
      Water is such a great subject. It’s much easier than dogs (who won’t sit still), and teens (who act like they’ve been put upon).
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

  6. Leya says:

    Wellcome back, Paul! I have been missing your gorgeous photography – so glad you got hooked on this theme! A great gallery with your own touch – love all your splashes, but the last one is a wow. I think you are the first one to use that thought!

    1. Paul says:

      Hi Ann Christine, So sorry for the late response.
      Water is such an easy theme and one of my favorites.
      I doubt that I’m the first one to have a take on a glass of water but I very much appreciate your own appreciation of that shot.


      1. Leya says:

  7. eden baylee says:

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

    From “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

    Water inspires poetry, stories, murder, and photographs.

    Love all your iterations, in particular Sunrise over Copper Harbor.

    Excellent shots, Paul 😀


    1. Paul says:

      Hi Eden,
      So here I am again with the late response, because it’s what I do. I knew the “Water, water everywhere,” and I knew that there was a Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but I never put the two together. Soooo, your comment had me reading the rime. Damn it’s long. Almost as long as one of my posts.
      Thanks for the kind words. Water is such an easy subject. While dogs and kids may move and fidget and ruin a shot, water’s movement enhances the shot.
      And here in California water inspires (or threatens) enmity between Northern Cali and LA.

  8. JohnRH says:

    Wow. GREAT selections, great sillkies, great splashes. GREAT!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much John. Much appreciated.

  9. Toonsarah says:

    Great to see you joining this wonderful challenge – I always have such fun with it! And your images are perfect for this theme, as are your choices of quotes. I especially love your work with slow shutter speeds at Winnewissa Falls and Rockaway Beach 😀

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Sarah. Slow shutter speeds and water can be great fun. Trite, some might say but who cares. So are sunsets, and people, and babies, and dogs. What isn’t? I just try to have some fun with it.
      Thank you again.

  10. selizabryangmailcom says:

    Beautiful images.
    Definitely need to get outside and take a walk!

    1. Paul says:

      I’m so sorry for the late response.
      Thank you very much for commenting. Much appreciated.


  11. A beautiful collection of words and images.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you so much.

Would love to hear from you

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