The American River

Slow shutter abstract photographs of the American river in El Dorado County along HWY 50.

On a day trip up to Lake Tahoe I was amazed to see the American river so full and aggressive. Rarely have I ever seen it this full. Usually the river winds itself through its own river bed, but now, like a bully in a hallway, it requires more room and pushed itself over the sides of the river bed.

Without a tripod I thought to shoot the river with a fast shutter to capture the harsh aggressive feel of the water flow, but it just wasn’t working the way I wanted. The images weren’t interesting. Propping myself against a rock, or tree, and image stabilization on gave me the option for longer exposures. The resulting images of 1 to 2 seconds gave me the aggressive movement I was looking for and with a polarizer filter brought out the color of the river rocks below.

© Christopher Johnson