“How do I create a photograph of something that’s transparent?” This is the question artist and photographer Moses Hacmon asked himself when he set out to capture water. Because water is clear light passes right through it, making it almost impossible to photograph just the water itself—all that is usually captured is the reflection of the light.
However Hacmon found a way round this. Having spent ten years studying water, Hacmon has developed a photographic technique using nanoparticles to create a visual representation of water through its movement.
The result is the astonishing series of large scale photos encapsulating water movement called Faces of Water.
The Israeli-born artist told PetaPixel, “In photography you have a silver based liquid on paper and then you expose it to light. Here I keep a liquid layer of iron that registers the movement in the water first and then can be imprinted on any surface in any shape.”
What this means is that when the film is applied to a surface, like paper, and water moves across it those nanoparticles are fixed into the surface, resulting in a negative image.
From that negative, Hacmon is able to print beautiful large scale analog images "with amazing details that reveal themselves as you get closer to the image."
With his photograms Moses is able to depict the "pure shapes water takes", with its unpredictable and organic fluidity, as it moves through a given container or body.
In reflecting on the project, Hacmon says, “I felt for the first time that I wasn’t just looking at my own reflection on the surface of water. For the first time I was face to face with water.”
And he wants viewers to be able to experience this too. Moses is currently raising funds in a hope to produce an exhibition of 36 large scale water portraits to bring “to schools and educational organization[s] that wish to teach their students and community about water and the role it has in shaping our lives.”
Images courtesy of the Moses Hacmon