The rain is back. I have nothing against rain. I would just like to be able to schedule it. For example, the summer afternoon thunderstorms in the Rockies are nice. They roll in, drop their goods, and roll out like paratroopers on a daily exercise. Having done their duty, there’s no need to linger and keep the sky gray for days on end.
While Chattanooga seems far sunnier than Columbus, the winter has brought a lot of rain.
Living on the top floor in a faux-loft apartment changes our relationship with rain. I don’t have to look out the windows to tell if it’s raining–the sound of it hitting the roof gets so loud in a downpour that I frantically hit the mute button during conference calls. In heavy rains, mysterious leaks start to appear that seem to be related to the angle and speed of the rainfall and can’t be pinpointed or recreated for maintenance men.
After a few hours, the rain drumming in my ears starts to fade into the background so that when it finally stops, it’s a similar experience to being in an office building when there is a power outage–the sudden absence of the white noise leaves the building in an eerie state of silence, often causing its inhabitants to start whispering.
While there is never silence here–there is always something making noise whether it’s a delivery truck rumbling down the street, a car stopped at the intersection with its stereo blaring, people shouting and laughing over the sounds of traffic–there are moments of less noise. When the droning of the rain suddenly stops, these other noises pop to the forefront and I find myself missing the buffer of the rain. So, I have come to appreciate a slow, gentle rain that is just enough to wash away not only the debris in the streets, but also the noise pollution.
I have visions of shooting rain drops sharply in focus in the foreground with the blurred but recognizable backdrop of the aquarium across the river. But first, our foster dog must go out. After taking him out in the rain, drying him off, and setting up my tripod, it, of course, stops raining. I shoot the aquarium in the mist. Then, I aim for the clouds over the mountains in the distance. Finally, I discover water drops forming on the balcony overhang and decide to try to get the effect I was looking for by shooting them falling.
An interesting thing about photography: it’s one thing to envision an image and another to capture it. After 30+ shots, I manage to capture the drops falling, but they disappear into the light gray background of the sky. I cannot capture anything close to the picture in my head.
When I set my camera aside and buckle down to a hectic day at the office, it starts to pour. If only I could schedule the rain . . .