Aubrey vs. the Waterfall

The Power of Nature, Skogar, Iceland, 2013

The Power of Nature, Skogar, Iceland, 2013

In my second to last post, ten days ago, I showed some of the waterfall photos from my trip to Iceland last month, but I added that I had not included my favorite waterfall photo of all.  I am posting that photo now.
I had visited the Skogafoss waterfall by the town of Skogar, Iceland, on my visit to Iceland in 1995, and it was certainly one of the places that I wanted to see again.  Unlike some waterfalls that are fairly narrow in breadth, or those waterfalls that can only be observed from above, Skogafoss is broad, powerful and can be appreciated from below.
It was impossible to photograph nudes when I arrived there with my two models, Aubrey and Brooke, as it was the middle of the day and lots of people were around.  Still, I did want to try to make some interesting photos there.  I set up my Pentax 67 on my tripod and set up a composition that I liked.  I then called over Aubrey and Brooke to say that one thing was missing: a person to give the photo a sense of scale.  Without that, one could not get a proper feeling of just how big and high this waterfall is.
I asked Aubrey if she would go up close to the fall and off she went.  I had failed to tell her, however, that I wanted her to face the water.  When I saw that she was facing me instead, I tried to communicate to her that I wanted her to turn around, but as the distance was great and the pounding of the water so loud, she didn’t understand me and came running back.
After asking her to face the waterfall, she ran back close to the water and did so.  I had only two shots left on the roll of 120 in the camera, so after I quickly exposed those two frames, I faced another dilemma:  how do I tell her to come back if she can’t see me?  I didn’t want to leave my camera and tripod unattended and I didn’t want to risk getting it too wet by bringing it close to the fall, so I waited. And waited. And waited.  Finally, Aubrey returned, drenched from the spray of the water, saying that she waited until she couldn’t take it any more.
As I’ve written before, Aubrey was fantastic on this trip. I told her that her being in the photo really added something, turning it from just a pretty waterfall photo into something more – a comment, perhaps, on how small and powerless humanity can be when confronted by the forces of nature.  I hope you will agree. (Just use your finger to cover up her figure and see for yourself what a difference it makes.)
I don’t normally use fanciful titles for my photos, preferring something simple like “Skogafoss, Iceland, 2013.”  In this case, however, I think something a little more poetic may be justified, so for now, I am titling this photo “The Power of Nature, Skogar, Iceland, 2013.”  The forces of nature in Iceland would seem to demand it.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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2 Responses to Aubrey vs. the Waterfall

  1. Chris Baldock says:

    The almighty power of the waterfall really comes across here, and the immensity of the falls against the tiny human figure is striking.

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