Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.


I love when I run across a scene in which the camera records a truth that our minds simply can not believe. Such scenes force you to reassess what is real and how our minds are able to change reality. I find this idea fascinating and have previously written about it on Uwe Steinmueller's Digital Outback Photo.

When I first photographed this waterfall, I thought I was just taking a picture of the flowing water. But when I looked at the image on the LCD screen on the back of my camera I was truly surprised at the colors I saw but hadn't recognized in the water. Nonetheless, when I looked carefully at the moving water, there they were! I hadn't seen them because our brains tend to present 'filtered' information to us which is why, for example, a sheet of white paper still looks white to us even when it is next to a brightly colored object. However, when we take a two dimensional photograph of that paper and look at it out of context, our eyes can recognize the color cast on the white sheet.

Canyon Reflections

Copyright Howard Grill

So where is the color coming from in this image? On this particular morning in Zion National Park, the sky was a deep blue which was being reflected in the waterfall. The falls were located right next to a large canyon wall made of the region's famous 'red rock', and it is the light reflecting off of this red rock and striking some areas of the water that imparts the pink coloration.

The other thing that I enjoyed about making this image was the location. I am delighted when I can find something beautiful in a location where I wouldn't expect it. True, this image was made in Zion National Park, but it happened to be located in the unlikely location behind an old maintenance shack where a good portion of the grounds were being used for storage