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Jan 14, 2017
"Forsyth Fountain at Night" was photographed in December of 2016. I had attended our Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) Meetup in downtown Savannah and was on my way back home when I decided to stop by Forsyth Park to photograph the fountain at night. Our GNPA Coastal Division meets downtown every year for a Christmas themed get together and downtown night photography shoot. I was glad I stopped by and was pleased with the night photography captures that I made that night.
The Forsyth Fountain is a historic piece of art in and of itself. It was built in 1858 so it is rather old. It was ordered from a catalog, so it is not entirely unique. There is one like it in Poughkeepsie, NY and also in Cuzco, Peru. The Forsyth Park itself was built around the French idea of building neighborhoods around a central green space, so the park and fountain have served as a central gathering place in Savannah through the years. Concerts and musicals are performed in the park and marriages and other events take place in front of the fountain. It is also a tourist stop for thousands of visitors each year. In March the fountain is dyed green to initiate the St. Patrick Day Irish celebrations and festivities.
The Forsyth Fountain is an ornate, cast iron fountain. It's three tiers are topped by a figure of a robed woman holding a staff. The basins are decorated with a relief leaf pattern, the upper tier more elaborately embellished with a scene of wading birds and rushes reminiscent of Georgia’s lowcountry landscape.
The fountain as originally designed and installed incorporates four spouting triton figures in the lower basin carrying shell horns (representing the mythological Greek messenger of the sea, half man and half fish). Triton was the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, god and goddess of the sea respectively, and is herald for his father. The lower basin also contains four spouting swans also reminiscent of Georgia's lowcountry landscape.
I liked this photo because it captures the movement of the water pretty well in this long exposure fine art photo. The fountain's spray is historical as well and was originally meant to cool people off from the heat that you experience in the deep south. If you can imagine, there was a smaller lower basin where people could get much closer. Later, a larger lower basin and brick paving wass installed around the fountain in 1860, and its ornamental perimeter iron railing within the next decade. The spouting swans in the basin and the urns at the pedestal base were added in 1870.
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