This page is an entry in the Key.

fountains and waterfalls

Summary

The water in fountains and waterfalls can be blurred in photographs that qualify for TCQ.

There is no single correct depiction (or shutter speed) for flowing water that is “best” for TCQ beyond saying that the water should not be blurred so much that that viewers cannot recognize what they are seeing.

Note that waves are treated differently than flowing water.

Details

Part of the public’s photographic literacy is the awareness that when a white/clear silky substance is depicted erupting from a city fountain or falling down a mountainside, that substance is probably water.

When the white substance is not water — a fountain of champagne or beer or youth, for example — TCQ photographers obviously should add an “IC” with explanation.

Furthermore, it can be argued that humans see flowing water in waterfalls and fountains as somewhat “blurred” and not “frozen” the way it is depicted when photographed with a high (short) shutter speed.

Thus — assuming that there are non-moving things in the photo to show that it is a waterfall or fountain — some blurring of the water in such photos usually would not be considered a problem with respect to motarri and would not generally be considered “misrepresentative” by Q7.

In other words, there is no single correct depiction (or shutter speed) for flowing water that is “best” for TCQ beyond saying that the water should not be unrecognizably blurred to the point that viewers cannot figure out what they are seeing.

(Waves are treated differently by TCQ than is water flowing in a fountain or waterfall because waves are slower moving, so people are accustomed to seeing individual waves.)

Needless to say, if the photographer of flowing water thinks that viewers may potentially be confused about what they’re seeing, an “IC” alert can be attached to explain the photo.

And as always, a particular photo editor, contest sponsor, or other gatekeeper applying rinairs to submitted photos has the right to interpret that standard however they wish — including rejection of what they deem to be excessive blurring of flowing water.