My first glimpse of Bridal Veil Falls, reached only after a hike deep into the
forest, was as a curving sliver of water slicing into a jumble of rocks covered with lush greenery. I made this image, and then went on to spend a half hour shooting the falls from the front. Only later, when I looked at this image in full size on my computer screen, did I realize that this first instinctive shot was by far my most expressive version of these falls. It is the only image I made of the falls that was abstract enough to stimulate the imagination. The sliver of falling water comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. It is an interruption of noisy energy, shattering the silence of an ancient forest of great boulders covered in ferns. The ferns seem to salute the intruding spray. By shooting the falls from the side, I greatly reduce its volume and presence. I moved the camera so that only the minimum amount of water shows beyond the curving rock, increasing tension as I do so. By showing less of Bridal Veil Falls, I wind up saying more – the most significant benefit of the abstracting process.