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Enchanting Photos of Rainbow-Hued Swamps

Curators’ Corner

Enchanting Photos of Rainbow-Hued Swamps

Spirit Stories Rainbow swamp

When photographer Jessica Hines purchased property on a swamp in southeastern Georgia, she envisioned a special getaway for personal reflection and sensory meditation. To Hines’ excitement, the sights of the swampland were more dazzling than she ever could have imagined, providing the impetus for a new photo series, Spirit Stories. In this engaging collection, Hines brilliantly captures the magic, awe and beauty of her very own backyard swamp, an unlikely yet enchanting slice of Mother Nature.

The origin of Spirit Stories was purely unintentional. While walking around her sunlit property on a clear January day, Hines noticed an intense spectrum of rainbow colors on the surface of the swamp water. Captivated by what she saw, she returned the next day at the same time with chest-high waders and of course, her camera. That was in 2011 – She’s still shooting to this day.

The photos are not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also profoundly supernatural, resembling some sort of detailed illustration from a fairy tale. The milky colors, slightly eerie in appearance, result from plant oils and pollen forming a monomolecular film that reflects and refracts a spectrum of light. Hines cleverly likens the phenomena to the colors seen on a soap bubble.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, she explains how the love of nature and relative passage of time motivate her to revisit this project year after year.

“Later in the spring when the color faded to silver, I continued photographing because I had become fascinated by the way light and shadows move across the water and how quickly it all changes. I love the meditative experience, the quiet, noticing small details –- tiny green water plants emerging in the spring, the green returning to the trees, mushrooms and fungi on floating logs, evidence of beavers and other animals. I continue to photograph the water year round to experience and record the seasons.”

Hines recently purchased an underwater camera, a clear sign Spirit Stories is far from running its course. Through her work, the photographer hopes viewers will establish stronger relationships with their natural environments.

“I hope that viewers develop a sense of awe at the natural world. I hope to reveal a magical, and mostly hidden beauty that inspires viewers –- and in a perfect world, would inspire them to save it.”

To learn more about Jessica Hines and Spirit Stories, visit the photographer’s website.

Spirit Stories Rainbow Tinted- Swamps

Spirit Stories Jessica Hines

Spirit Stories Jessica Hines

Photos courtesy of Jessica Hines