Water, it’s everywhere, it’s responsible for life on earth and without it, we wouldn’t be here… Our planet is covered with more water than land, our bodies are made up on average of 60% water.

Une petite percée de soleil / Sun peeking through

We bathe in it, we drink it, we cook with it and we often play in it / with it. Some living creatures rely on bodies of water for food and others live well within it.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: HERONS, EGRETS, BITTERNS / HÉRONS, AIGRETTES et BUTORS (Ardeidae) &emdash; Great Blue Heron Spear Fishing / Grand Héron harponnant sa proie

This week for the Trevor Carpenter PhotoChallenge, we’re going to photograph anything and everything to do with water!

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Great Crested Grebe on a rainy day / Grèbe huppé sous la pluie

For many of, like myself, we automatically think nature, even urban nature as we can relate it to my last challenge. However there are tons of tricks that can be pulled off with everyday household items and other non-nature-related subjects. A water fountain is a great example.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: Art In and Around the City / Expositions d'art &emdash; Reflections of a Sea-Goddess - Amphitrite

Water has great reflective properties. The image above was taken from the other side of a water fountain in the atrium of the Montreal World Trade Center.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: INFRARED - INFRAROUGE &emdash; Jacksonville Florida - IR

Even waterfront Cityscapes have their charm. The above is a picture of Downtown Jacksonville in Infrared taken from Friendship Fountain. A 560nm filter on a full-spectrum converted camera. It’s handheld at a fairly quick shutter speed. On a tripod I could slow down that exposure, smoothen the water and get a better reflection.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: NATURE & LANDSCAPES &emdash; Montreal Back River at Sunset - Fall Colors

Slow shutter speeds don’t always mean smooth water. A one second exposure in rapidly moving water can give you both the sense of movement while keeping details in your water surface.

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: NATURE & LANDSCAPES &emdash; I Think Bob's gone fishin'

Sometimes you just don’t know what you’ll find in a river, I think Bob’s gone fishin’. 😉

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: WINTER WONDERLAND - MON PAYS C'EST L'HIVER &emdash; Daniel McAllister Tugboat - Old Port of Montreal

Sometimes the water we depend on solidifies in frigid cold temperatures…

Tempus Aura Studio - Eugenie Robitaille - Steve Troletti Photography: AMERICAN ALLIGATOR &emdash; American alligator

Some of us know that danger lures in some of those murky waters…


Create ONE image that has water as a subject or as a key feature of the photograph

Use your imagination, water is available in all forms and can make for interesting effects from reflections to translucency.

Create a photograph. Plan your shoot, compose your image and post process a balanced image.

You image can be natural light or Infrared and you can process in Color or B&W.


DIYCRAFT.ORG has a great set of reflection examples

KYLE RE Has a very creative Instagram

Here are some great examples on YouTube


ND Filters / Variable ND Filter – I use a Tiffen variable ND and I like to get at least a second exposure when photographing water. Even with a Native 64ISO of my camera, I sometimes need a little extra on a bright day.

Circular Polarizer Filter – I find my VND filters reflections well in many cases. It’s basically built from two separate circular polarizing filters. However when working with water, it’s sometimes necessary to dial in just the right amount of reflection we want to create a well balanced image.

Tripod – For me a tripod is a must have. It allows you to create your composition and keep it as you experiment with different apertures, shutter speeds and lighting. It’s also an ideal tool to keep things steady while shooting long exposures. I use a simple Manfrotto Element Large Traveller Carbon Fiber Tripod. It’s lightweight yet sturdy and affordable.

Camera Remote – If you’re going to shoot long exposures from a tripod, a remote, wired or wireless is a must to maintain stability while triggering the camera. I still use a wired remote or my camera app on my phone. No need to go fancy, there are plenty of efficient low cost solutions.

Lens Cleaner – I use Zeiss lens cleaner and Zeiss Lens Wipes. Easy to carry and they do a great job. When working near water you often can’t keep water droplets from accumulating on your front element. I pickup a box of 100 wipes for around $6USD at Walmart in the Jacksonville, FL area. They also have spray bottles of the Zeiss lens cleaner in various sizes.

Rain Protection – If you’re going to play in the rain I highly recommend protecting your gear even if it’s weather sealed. Easy to do with rubber bands / gaffer tape and plastic bags. You can also buy them at an affordable price online to meet your camera / lens requirements.

Naturally be safe and follow COVID-19 guidelines. This Photo Challenge is designed to be fun in the great outdoors, the city or at home.

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo:  #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.