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Photographing Fountains

Updated on January 22, 2014

Fountains, the old style fountains that are normally found in small towns and villages, where everybody used to gather to get their daily watering needs or wash clothes are seldom seen today. Having been replaced by modern pipes, wells and other such things, are nevertheless still a pleasure to photograph if you can find any.

But even if you cannot find any old style water fountains, there are still quite a large number of modern fountains which are usually situated near city centers or near the most popular tourist locations as well as near government centers. These, although not the main point of interest of this theme, make for very good substitutions.

These subjects can be photographed during the day where you should focus on the details of the marksmanship and architectural details, engravings, statues, decorations, the way the water flows and general details of the surrounding area, the people and any interesting structures around it.

You can often be overwhelmed by the beauty and grandiose designs of some of the more elaborate designs, especially in some European cities such as Rome and Paris. Record images while the fountains are fully functional, the way the water breaks on the surface. At night most of these fountains are brightly illuminated so their photographs become even more exciting and spectacular.

Here you will need to set up for night shots. You will probably need a tripod to hold you gear in place, regardless of how well illuminated the fountain is. Set you shutter speed for automatic as this will keep the shutter open for the lightning conditions. You can also use a flash unit set to low yield so as not to overwhelm the fountain illumination. Concentrate of capturing the way the light spreads over the fountain and highlights the decorations and designs. Take photos from various angles and use different perspectives. It is worth shooting several images, especially if it is unlikely that you will return to this location in the near future.

If you are able to locate any old style fountain scenes, then your best bet will be to capture its images during the day as many if not all, are seldom ever illuminated at night since their original purpose was just to serve as a watering central point back in the times when water piping was not a common occurrence.

These subjects are more likely to be made of rocks, cement or a mixture, and will probably have appendages that one uses to bring the water to the surface such as pulley arms or pumps or even buckets. Although some still work with gravity. Try to record images of the locals as they congregate around it , even if obtaining water is no longer an issue, nevertheless people gathered around an old style fountain make for great photographs. The majority of these samples are still found on many South American countries and it is worth considering if visiting any of our neighbors to the South.

Pay close attention to small details that might be overlooked, sometimes there are samples that have very intricate details and are cleverly intermingled to be somewhat obscured by the water flow, often these details are of animals or celestial beings are small and are placed out of the way by its designer in an attempt to purposely make an audience take a closer look.

 Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License, FreeFoto FREE USE license
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License, FreeFoto FREE USE license | Source

For these subjects your aim should be to record close up to show details in the construction as well as to faithfully record their earth toned shades and construction. Images that show the entire subject are also desirable as are images that encompass the surrounding town, land and inhabitants.

You may also find clay pots and other receptacles for carrying water nearby as in some parts it is customary to leave a recipient when you take another, as well as a public water container with a ladle to be used by anyone who is thirsty enough to partake of it.

Do remember that many of these old styles are quickly disappearing with the rapid advances in technology and new construction. Soon the only examples will be reproductions found at amusement parks, television productions, home garden centers and such.

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      thelyricwriter: Thank you

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      I believe fountains make great pics. Great stuff.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      randomcreative: Thank you, btw I wrote a hub with a link to one of your articles

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love photographing Buckingham Fountain whenever I get down to that area of Chicago. You're right that it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the beauty and detail of elaborate fountains. There is so much to capture!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      6 years ago

      We have some beautiful fountains where I love. I have photographed them before.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Cardisa: Thank you my dear

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Luis, I love fountains...I know, I seem tolove every project you write about, but it's true I love water and fountains are beautiful.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      France Travel Inf: Thank you

    • France Travel Inf profile image

      France Travel Inf 

      6 years ago

      Definitely good information. Voted up also!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Lynn: Thank you,small details are often overlooked or unappreciated

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 

      6 years ago

      I love the small details you point out.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Don Bobbitt; Thank you

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Voted UP and Useful. Good Solid information for a beginner and a good reminder for a serious amateur.


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