For her series Rite of Water, California-based photographer Kristianne Koch Riddle captures her children in moments of play and exploration in both literal and figurative tides. Through her lens, the water is seen as a vast site of ever-present change, bringing with it both anticipation and fear. Shooting at San Clemente and Dana Point, she captures her growing son and daughter, now 9 and 6 years old, as they conquer the ravenous sea and tumble within its depths. The series comprises a set of seventeen diptychs, each containing a color and black and white image; the color marks an initial plunging from one’s zone of comfort, where the rich gray image signifies a resultant period of learning and reflection.
Riddle carefully fixes her children in moments of vulnerability: that first step into a wild surf, the kicking of legs just thrust above the water’s surface. As their bodies twist and adapt to the liquid environment, they undergo a metamorphosis. The act of sliding into the water, the decision to wade, are all captured in an instantaneous image that erupts with magnetic blues and greens.