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A Concise Glimpse of Water in the History of Photography

Water History and Culture

  1. Basia Irland

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wh13

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Irland, B. 2005. A Concise Glimpse of Water in the History of Photography. Water Encyclopedia. 4:766–769.

Author Information

  1. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


Water is universal and indispensable to life. Therefore, it has always been a central metaphor, both sprightly and exacting, for artists. In this brief article, we examine how a few photographers have looked to water for inspiration and also used it as the very substance of their work. There have, of course, been hundreds of photographers who have tested water as their subject matter or used it in their work in various ways at some stage of their career; some of the more notable and interesting are presented here. A few examples have been chosen, beginning with the earliest photographers of the nineteenth century.


  • photography;
  • art