Water Colors

Today I took a trip to Roaring River State Park, it’s a beautiful park adjoining the Mark Twain National Forest. Roaring River is fed by the spring pictured above. It’s one of the largest in Missouri. Ordinarily February is not the time to go to the fishery, but today was gorgeous. The play of sunshine on the water was magical.

20130210-214929.jpgThese rusty links caught my eye. They were in the large pond and I wonder if they were meant to secure rafts or boats at one time. This whole facility was built by the CCC and much of the stone and cement works around the ponds have the feel from that era.

The spring empties in to a large holding pond and is then directed through about a dozen smaller holding ponds where rainbow trout are sorted by size.

20130210-210627.jpgThis trout was inside the spring – as the water flowed out from the overhang it had a haunting blue color. I looked at this shot on my LED screen and noted how much it looked like a watercolor painting. Seeing this I tried to focus either on the fish through the water or just below the surface to see if I could make something of this effect in the holding ponds.

20130210-210649.jpgI loved the curves in this shot. Someone had just tossed some feed in the water just outside my frame and the fish seemed to turn as a single mass.

20130210-210724.jpgThis is a holding pond for mid-sized trout. The scene turns a dark grey where the trout are several layers thick. The mass of fish block out the golden color of the bottom of the pond.

20130210-210758.jpgThese are called parent fish. They are in a smaller round tank and are the source of all the other trout in the tanks. Some of these are larger than a good sized salmon. The orange in this shot is the reflection of my orange hoody on the surface if the water.

20130210-210816.jpgThis is one of the parent fish all alone. I rarely got a shot at a single fish like this. This shows the color of the bottoms of the ponds, the warm gold color creates reflected light in many of the shots. This was my favorite shot of the day.

20130210-210847.jpgOccasionally I would get a shot though some smooth water and be able to get a tight focus on some trout. This shot reminds me of a traffic jam on the freeway.

20130210-210958.jpgThe fish in this pond seemed to have a copper color when the sun hot them. It could have just been the angle of the sunlight at this spot.

20130210-211229.jpgI like how the ripples follow the line of the lower fish, he looks a bit like a dirigible.

20130210-211255.jpgThe still water gave me lots of focus options in this shot.

20130210-211526.jpgThis was a massive trout. He was in the pond that they release into the river.

20130210-211548.jpgMore copper reflections. I love the painterly feel of this one.

20130210-211612.jpgEveryone, take a right!

20130210-211639.jpgSome of the parent trout had flat noses like this one.

20130210-211703.jpgThis is the water flows down from one pond to another. It’s the same water that connects the spring, the ponds, and the river – the same water that captures the sunlight and plays visual music with it as it bounces just below its surface. It’s the same water that magnifies and reflects the colors of the fish, the the sky, and even my hoody.

Color in the water – water colors.

42 thoughts on “Water Colors

  1. Pingback: Oh Deer! | the eff stop

  2. There ya go making me homesick again! Love Roaring River. We loved just going and spending the day there. The boys would go there to camp, ride four-wheelers & of course, fish. Have you ever stayed in the lodge there? ALSO….love Cassville’s no-kill rescue facility for dogs.

  3. Wonderful series of images, Lorri.
    I like the fourth image the most with the final image of the water coming a close second. Or maybe I like the copper coloured image.
    (No, it’s all too hard to choose a favourite, but I like all the patterns of the fish as the light plays around with them).
    Did you have a polarising lens on your camera?
    And did you change shutterspeeds at all?

    • Thanks Vicki – I forgot my polarizer for my fast 50 (most of my shots were taken with that lens) because I went to the park to scout bald eagles and I had my birding lens set up with polarizer. The 50 was just in my bag because I take it everywhere. The only shot in this group with a polarizer is the fifth image of the mid-sized fish. I was incredibly close on the others since I had no zoom and I did play with the shutter speed a bit – the shot you like, the 4th was at f2.5 1/250. The golden shot was at f3.2 1/400. Some ponds had the fish swimming more slowly and those were where I got the sharp shots – they were at f4 1/200. The spring was my longest exposure of the day at f1.4 1/60.

    • Thanks Allan – I was actually really close to them and used my fast portrait lens – a 1.4 on most of these shots. Mostly I wasn’t sure what worked or not until I got them onscreen. I tried focussing at different depths and some things just didn’t work. The trout are just amazing to see on a sunny day anyway.

        • Only on the wide shot of the midsize fish – I used the zoom on that one. I forgot my polarizing filter for the portrait lens at home so I just had the UV filter on. Since my plan was to shoot eagles I just didn’t pack the right gear…

          • You did a great job with the eqpt. that you had with you, and that is the important part; Adapt and continue shooting, don’t spend time wishing you had whatever you left behind.

            You did an amazing amount of great photography this day.

    • Thanks – I see you shoot mirror less from your blog. I shot most of these shots – except for the mid-sized fish with the Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4. It stopped action for me very nicely. I shoot an OMD but love my Panny lenses and use this one all the time. I had seen the path to the spring but had never been back there either. It’s pretty neat with the sunlight coming through in the afternoon. I actually went looking for eagles and was distracted by the hatchery.

      • Yes, many of the earlier shots posted on my blog were shot with a Panasonic Lumix GF1. I still love that camera, and will never get rid of it. I use it with the kit zoom lens.
        The OMD is such a remarkable camera. It seems like it just wants to take wonderful photos by accident. I was tempted to purchase the OMD, but went with the X100 instead.

        • I’ve heard a lot of great things about the X100 as well. I have invested too much in glass to switch now, plus I have lots of legacy glass I use on the OMD. I think it’s great to be able to get so much out of such a small camera.

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