This photo, unlike some of the others here on Weekly Fifty that were captured in a moment of spontaneity, required a fair bit of planning. My family was visiting Milford Lake in Kansas, the subject of a blog photo from 2013, and while the kids were playing on the beach my brother Tom and I did some experimenting with rocks, water, and photography. I wanted to capture the result of a rock hitting the water, and it took several iterations of the same basic idea in order for this picture to come to fruition. Over the course of many attempts I learned to adjust the angle at which I shot, the overall framing, the method for predicting where Tom would throw a rock, and more details which you can find in the attached audio commentary. After each attempt, my brother would wait patiently while I checked the results on my dim camera LCD screen (I shot with my D200, as usual, because I didn’t want to bring my D7100 that close to the water) and then set things up for another try. Incidentally, this is not the best photo from the exercise: that distinction goes to a picture with a mushroom-shaped plume exploding from the water, but unfortunately it was not quite in focus. As such, I’m content to settle with this one but I’m fairly happy with the result. And supremely grateful to Tom for all his help :)


  1. I once did the something similar to this explosion of water, with two dozen liquor bottles for my anti-drug slide presentation. I took only two shots of one of my kids blasting the bottles with a .12 gauge shotgun. The flying shards of glass looked spectacular, so I thought about re-shooting the bottles again one day, this time with colored water inside.

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