In last week’s edition, I talked a little about experimentation and the fun that I have with it, as a means of finding new inspiration and ideas. Part of my process is to also look at ways of interpreting different materials.
One of the materials that has been part of my entire life is water. Growing up in the Netherlands, one is surrounded by water all the time, which is why swimming is standard curriculum in elementary school. From swimming to sailing and ice skating, a lot of life focuses on the very same water that the Dutch have learned to move out of the way and tame over the centuries.
This set of images show some of my exploration of at least two states of water: solid in Frosts of Atlantis and Primordial Lemonade and liquid in Phase Transition, Search for Tranquility and Calm Motion. Each brings out a different aspect of this wonderful substance that makes our planet so very liveable!
Frosts of Atlantis
Search for Tranquility
In each of these images, there is a slightly different approach. Frosts of Atlantis centers on the structure of the ice, which appears to reveal a city of high civlization. Primordial Lemonade is all about the flow of Pleistocene Kool-Aid! Phase Transition takes us on a ride jumping through inter-dimensional space-time. Search for Tranquility challenges us; can we find tranquility within this image? Calm Motion is truly serendipitous; as I was eyeing the flow of water in a small stream, I noticed that there was an inherent structure to it and that it was hiding a deeper message…
Each time that I go out and shoot, I keep an eye open for the unusual and novel. Sometimes it is right out there, while at other times it lies well beneath the surface. Whichever is the case, the search is the best part! Hope you go out there and find your special treasures!
As we’re looking toward the future, we strive to reach beyond what the horizon obscures and understand all that may occur. In doing so, do we lose track of what each and every day holds for us? Appreciating each and every moment, while making decision that bode well for our planet, humanity, our family and ourselves, allows us to live truly full lives.
Look toward each and every new horizon, and embrace all that you see as today’s realm of possibilities.
Wow! We’re already up to the 33rd edition of the Tuesday Photo Challenge! Last week’s challenge was all about Fresh! And your response to this topic was filled with great images and ideas, which made it not only fresh, but also fulfilling!
In thinking about where to take this challenge to next, I looked for something that might actually make a bit of sense to be a follow up to all things fresh…
Then I came up with the idea of going with the flow, which led me to this week’s challenge theme of Flow. In capturing the concept of flow, there are a number of directions that you can take. With a short exposure time, you can freeze the flow in mid-motion, or you can take a longer exposure to show flow over time. Also, keep in mind that flow can be more than liquids…
So, there is lots of room for creativity, which I am looking forward to seeing. Here’s an example from about 4 years ago…
This shot was all about capturing the power of water in motion, as works its way down the falls, carrying tree trunks and chewing at the rock.
For those who’d like to participate in this weekly challenge, the rules are the following:
Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!
After a fresh week, let’s keep the ideas flowing! Have fun!
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D MkII using an EF24-105mm f/4L lens. Exposure settings were 1/5 second at f/22 and 100 ISO. Note that you can also ‘trick’ automatic cameras into this type of exposure by experimenting with the program modes.
Episode 26…this means we’re hitting 6 months of Wonderment! Thanks to all of you wonderful readers, whose interest and comments have kept me on track with this, the longest running feature of my blog.
Today’s post is rather special, as there is one thing that growing up in the Netherlands teaches you at an early age: the power of water! When you live in a country, where water is at every turn, you know that you have to be aware and mindful of what water can do. The power of water can never be ignored in the Netherlands, as a significant portion of the country is below sea level, and storms in the North Sea can drive up the water level, thus testing dikes to their breaking point, as last happened in 1953.
Hence, my appreciation and wonderment for the Power of Water…
Delta Works (Deltawerken)
The estuaries of the rivers Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt have been subject to flooding over the centuries. After building the Afsluitdijk, the Dutch started studying the damming of the Rhine-Meuse Delta. Plans were developed to shorten the coastline and turn the delta into a group of freshwater lakes. By shortening the coastline, fewer dikes would have to be reinforced.
Due to indecision and the Second World War, little action was taken. In 1950 two small estuary mouths, the Brielse Gat near Brielle and the Botlek near Vlaardingen were dammed. After the North Sea flood of 1953, a Delta Works Commission was installed to research the causes and develop measures to prevent such disasters in future. They revised some of the old plans and came up with the “Deltaplan”.
The plan consisted of blocking the estuary mouths of the Oosterschelde, the Haringvliet and the Grevelingen. This reduced the length of the dikes exposed to the sea by 700 kilometres (430 mi). The mouths of the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Westerschelde were to remain open because of the important shipping routes to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. The dikes along these waterways were to be heightened and strengthened. The works would be combined with road and waterway infrastructure to stimulate the economy of the province of Zeeland and improve the connection between the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp.
Delta law and conceptual framework
An important part of this project was fundamental research to help solve the flooding problem. Instead of analysing past floods and building protection sufficient to deal with those, the Delta Works commission pioneered a conceptual framework to use as norm for investment in flood defences.
The framework is called the ‘Delta norm’; it includes the following principles:
Major areas to be protected from flooding are identified. These are called “dike ring areas” because they are protected by a ring of primary sea defences.
The cost of flooding is assessed using a statistical model involving damage to property, lost production, and a given amount per human life lost.
For the purpose of this model, a human life is valued at €2.2 million (2008 data).
The chances of a significant flood within the given area are calculated. This is done using data from a purpose-built flood simulation lab, as well as empirical statistical data regarding water wave properties and distribution. Storm behaviour and spring tide distribution are also taken into account.
The most important “dike ring area” is the South Holland coast region. It is home to four million people, most of whom live below normal sea level. The loss of human life in a catastrophic flood here can be very large because there is typically little warning time with North Sea storms. Comprehensive evacuation is not a realistic option for the Holland coastal region.
The commission initially set the acceptable risk for complete failure of every “dike ring” in the country at 1 in 125,000 years. But, it found that the cost of building to this level of protection could not be supported. It set “acceptable” risks by region as follows:
North and South Holland (excluding Wieringermeer): 1 per 10,000 years
Other areas at risk from sea flooding: 1 per 4,000 years
Transition areas between high land and low land: 1 per 2,000 years
River flooding causes less damage than salt water flooding, which causes long-term damage to agricultural lands. Areas at risk from river flooding were assigned a higher acceptable risk. River flooding also has a longer warning time, producing a lower estimated death toll per event.
South Holland at risk from river flooding: 1 per 1,250 years
Other areas at risk from river flooding: 1 per 250 years.
These acceptable risks were enshrined in the Delta Law. This required the government to keep risks of catastrophic flooding within these limits and to upgrade defences should new insights into risks require this. The limits have also been incorporated into the new Water Law, effective from 22 December 2009.
The Delta Project (of which the Delta Works are a part) has been designed with these guidelines in mind. All other primary defences have been upgraded to meet the norm.
New data elevating the risk assessment on expected sea level rise due to global warming has identified ten ‘weak points.’ These are currently being upgraded to meet the future demands. This work is expected to be completed in 2015. An upgrade to river flooding defences is underway, which is expected to be finished in 2017.
The Delta Works can be visited across the province of Zeeland, and, if you find yourself on the island of Schouwen-Duiveland, be sure to visit the Watersnood museum (Flood disaster museum) in Ouwekerk.
This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens. Exposure settings were at 1/10 second at f/16 and 100 ISO.