The children's fountain at Lake Anne Plaza | Photo by Charlotte Geary
      The children’s fountain at Lake Anne Plaza

      A couple weeks ago, I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Danny had been grouchy and tantrumy for a few days, and I was tired. One evening I put him to bed around 7, and considered going to sleep as well. Then I decided that I would feel happier if I went out and created something instead. So I grabbed my tripod and a camera with a fisheye lens, and stood in the middle of the children’s fountain in Lake Anne Plaza. Then I felt rejuvenated.

      This first photo was taken at ISO 400, 4 seconds, f/8. The long exposure created a blur of falling water in the fountain. The smallish aperture made sure that most of the image was in focus.

      The Children's fountain at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Virginia | Photo by Charlotte Geary
      This image was taken at ISO 1600, 1/15 sec, f2.8. The faster shutter speed shows more texture in the water. To enable the faster shutter speed, I used a higher ISO and larger aperture.

      There were several people dining outside at the restaurants that surround the fountain. I got right in the water and gave them a good show. No one said anything to me except for the little girl who was playing in the fountain while I was shooting. She was about six and was drenched. I was almost as wet as she was.

      “WHAT are you doing?” she asked, clearly puzzled by this strange grown-up invading her fountain. “Taking pictures,” was my simple response. “Why?” was her obvious next question. I didn’t really have an answer to that. I just chuckled and told her that it made perfect sense to me.

      Charlotte Geary


      Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

      Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.