Water Cycles

 (Christopher Rolinson)

A waterfall is an indication that a stream is geologically young and active. The water flows over a resistant bedrock slower upstream and faster downstream causing erosion to occur more quickly downstream. This difference in velocity is caused by the increasing volume as the stream picks up more run off water and the from effects of gravity.

Pounding water and whirlpools increase the rate of erosion even faster at the base of a fall causing the waterfall to increase in size. This erosive action also causes the waterfall to move further up stream at a geologically slow rate. Often the receding erosion created by the waterfall will create a canyon downstream and a rock shelter in the soft rock behind the veil of the falls.

Here at Frankfort Mineral Springs evidence of that geological process is evident. The quarter mile canyon leading to the veiled water fall is sheer and steep. At the current location of the falls rock shelters occur in the canyon walls on both sides. Eventually the the rock outcropping created by the falls will collapse and send larger stones to the base of the falls for further erosion and tumbling downstream. There is evidence of a recent collapse to the right of the Frankfort Mineral Spring fall. It is only a matter of time that the rock shelters created by the falls will succumb to the process of erosion and continue the geologic cycle openly on display.

This collection of images and video record my observations at the water fall’s most geologically active point and the patterns created as the ongoing erosion cycles. I watched the force exerted by the cascading water and can only imagine that sometime in the near future this process will have an observable effect at Frankfort Mineral Springs.

Lake Tides

 (Christopher Rolinson)

On a cold winter’s Saturday at Gull Point located at the lonely tip of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania, snow falls over the land spit. The view due north over the vast and motionless horizon of water and sky is an unseen Canada. Where water meets shore the sound of eighteen inch waves crashing in an undulating and cyclical pattern. The ebb and flow permeates a relaxing orchestra over the grey winter’s landscape. Lake Erie is a fresh water lake and, like the larger oceans, experiences the phenomenon of the tides, or does it?

The tides are the combined force of the gravitational pull from both the sun and the moon. The breadth and frequency of the tides are based upon the position of the sun and moon in relationship to one and other, the rotation of the earth and the bathymetry, or contours of the land located under very large bodies of water. Other factors that affect the size of the tides are barometric pressure and storm surges.

The scale of Lake Erie along with the other Great Lakes is exponentially smaller than the world’s oceans. At a similarly small exponential rate the Great Lakes do feel the gravitational effects of the tides. In reality the lunar and solar tides affecting Lake Erie amounts only to a few inches. Generally, the waves on Lake Erie are created by wind and weather as it moves from west to east and not by the effects of the sun or moon. As the waves move from open water towards the shore, the inclination of lake floor causes the waves to break as they approach the land creating the crash that fills the air with sound and slowly erodes and transforms Presque Isle.

This collection of images and video record my observations at the wave’s point break and the patterns created as they cycle up and down the sandy coast of Pennsylvania’s lake shore. I noticed as the waves moved in and out another pattern of residual moisture ebbed at a much slower rate and allowed for a beautiful interaction of light where the water from Lake Erie meets the land of Pennsylvania.

Learning to Paint

This short film is an experiment in time compression. It is designed to show the creative process between teacher and student. The best way for me to show the process was to speed it up a bit. My good friend, Cleveland based painter, Billy Ritter creatively transformed his garage into a painting studio for two budding artists. His first lesson was additive color, “don’t mix your colors or you’ll get mud”.

You can see more of Billy’s work here:


Northern Short Course and Strictly Business Recap

March is a travel month. I spend most of the weekends out of town at photography conferences learning business, philosophy and aesthetic.

First up was Philadelphia and the American Society of Media Photographers Strictly Business 3.

Next up was Providence and the National Press Photographers Association Northern Short Course.

Each conference brings it’s own unique perspective to photography, ASMP was all business. I networked like crazy and learned the latest theories about how build and keep business. The entire conference is build around developing a community of photographers and fostering good business practices to keep photography a viable way to make a living.

NPPA concentrates on the storytelling and educational aspects of photojournalism. Critiques and analysis of news images and multimedia play a big role at the confrence. I sought out to expand my network of fellow photojournalism educators through the education track of the program.

Coupling the two programs produces a powerful knowledge base that combines art and commerce. I’ve learned more about photography by regularly attending and listening to others smarter than me than I have learned by practicing in the field. It is at the professional conferences where you will have a chance to mix with others from all over the country who are working in the field. The exchange of ideas will elevate your work you return home and begin practicing what you learned.

The final travel occurs at the end of March, I accompany a group of eager students from Point Park University to Washington DC. There the students have opportunities to meet and experience the way media work in the nation’s capital. I am able to share the knowledge I gained at the conferences with the students in a real way by helping them network, develop relationships and practice their craft.

Photography is an ever evolving profession, as with any craft you have to stay in sync with the industry, from student to professional, to remain viable.