It always feels invigorating to go out of a photography outing on a warm sunny day, with just the right amount of clouds in the sky to create interest and at times casting interesting shadows across the landscape or as they pass over the sun, which acts as a temporary diffuser. Weather being what it is, unpredictable at best, downright miserable at other times does not always give you what you want.
While in Tokyo visiting our daughter and her husband, there were several days when it was dreary and heavily overcast with light constant rain. When almost very store is selling $1.00 umbrellas you get the feeling that there might just be many days like this.
I am truly a daylight person, as night and darkness are not my friends nor are confined spaces. With the very tiny apartment I needed to venture out before my pacing about wore through the tatami goza mat (soft reed) carpets and with such a lovely and charming city, the motivation was easy.
I always believe in carrying my camera on any walk-about and it was on such a rainy day journey that I started to notice the umbrella culture in Tokyo. Every store has an umbrella holder outside and for stores where you might leave by another door, there are umbrella stands that sheath your umbrella in a plastic cover so you don’t drip water inside.
There were so many different colours, shapes, sizes and different ways of holding them that it almost became a flower garden when looking down of the streetscape. For many people the umbrellas were fashion accessory matching in colour to their outfits.
Why is it always so easy to see the ordinary, as new and exciting in a different location and yet in our own towns see nothing? From time to time we do see things in our hometowns, but never at the same frequency when we go somewhere else and it almost becomes a forced endeavour.
This got me thinking about how to overcome this mindset and took me back in time to when I was a young child and anything could be exciting.
A Zen Moment
Pretend and Make-believe
The ability to pretend and create make-believe situations I think is one of the great losses of childhood. Not fully lost, but buried deep, because as adults we are taught that life should be real, important and perused with a stern focus and joy only obtained after serious work. Well really not that bad but I think for most of us some truth in these comments.
I think creativity is a large part imagination and also not taking yourself too seriously and with that in mind or out-of-my-mind, I will suggest an approach to hopefully help you think differently.
While we with our vehicles have spare tires notice that she has a spare umbrella
So on a Rainy Day why not pretend that;
You have only lived in a tent in the middle of the Sahara Desert and your one-day trip into a big city or countryside setting is on a rainy day. What photos would you take to show your family and friends back home?
Or pretend that you have been hired to do a shoot for a local magazine that is situated deep in the Australian outback. Or you have been hired by a lost indigenous tribe (now that is real make-believe) to show them this different location.
You might take photos of
Water running down a sewer grate
Reflections in wet pavement especially at night
Car wipers moving (slower shutter to show movement)
Water cascading off building
People with umbrellas (as with these examples)
People in rubber boots
People jumping puddles
People just plain wet
If in a more rural location, rain drops on foliage
Reflections in puddle on dirt road
View through a window with raindrops or running streaks
I know I have and I think most of you have seen images like these and I suspect that these were not all taken by Bedouins living in tents on a tourist trip. Something got them to see the special in the ordinary.
Therefore, if in a slump one day pretend that you are from somewhere completely different and shoot with new eyes. I know most of you take great photos and you just might capture an interesting way of looking at the ordinary if you can once again embrace make believe.
Therefore go out and get wet, but do take care of the camera by either keeping often under you rain jacket or buying a professional rain protector for camera or even just a simple shower cap with the elastic band.
There are so many great photographers, artists and writers that I come across that if I were to list them all in my sidebars, it might go on forever. I have therefore decided to augment the Photographer’s Adage with photographers that you might find interesting and are not already listed.
Chuck Kimmerle Photography has just a stunning collection of B&W images taken from the northern plains. It is amazing how he is able to capture a sense of wonder from what most of us might at first glance just describe as boring open spaces.