There are two reasons that I decided to name my website “Ripplestone”. First and foremost, I simply like the name. The energetic but yielding ripple in a lake and the rigid and tranquil stone at its shore–the ripple and the stone–interact and change one another, each following its own pace and rhythm. To me, all of nature is sheer magic and poetry, and the name Ripplestone evokes that feeling for me.
The second reason, surprisingly, has to do with the paradoxical nature of LIGHT, the most important element of photography. Science clearly shows that light will move as particles going in a straight line from source to destination. And yet science also clearly shows that light will move like a wave, rippling out uniformly in all directions at once. Science has a name for this unusual phenomenon: the “wave-particle duality” of light. I like to say that light can move both as ripples and as stones.
But things get even stranger. You may ask: When does light decide when it should behave like a ripple and when it should behave like a stone? Experiments have shown time and again that if YOU choose to see the light move as a stone, it will behave as a stone; and if YOU choose to see light move as a ripple, it will behave as a ripple. Light doesn’t decide how it should physically act—YOU, the observer, decides! (Check it out if you don’t believe me, or ask Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory.)
This points to a wonderful paradox of our strange world. Science doesn’t like to admit it, but it seems that you and I can willfully change the physical nature of light! And if we can change a fundamental law of nature just by an act of will, isn’t that sheer magic and poetry?
Maybe I don’t have two reasons for the name Ripplestone after all. Maybe it’s only one reason seen from two sides….