This past week, my Architectural Photography class took a field trip to the Denver Art Museum. It rained and rained all day, but luckily we were inside shooting the architecture and enjoying a couple new photography exhibits. On that trip, I noticed the traffic speeding past me beneath the 13th Street Bridge that connects the Hamilton Building to the North Building of the museum. I found a wonderful window that had a screen attached, and it was covered in rain. Then I started shooting. I found the spot I most enjoyed that day!
Rain, we don’t often get much of that in Colorado but it is beautiful when we do. It helps our drought issues, eliminates fire dangers in our state, and gives us that interesting light and air quality that transports us to other cities like Atlanta or San Francisco, where the residents experience this beauty more often.
Next time it rains, look at the quality of light as it reflects off the wet pavement, or any surface. Notice the headlight reflections on 13th Street. There is something quite exquisite in the shapes, and gradations of highlight to mid-tone values. In a moment of peace between red lights I noticed a single man, braving the rain, and he appeared to step down from the heavens. Then I noticed the chaos of the ghost cars turned in every direction behind him. I love reflections for all the surprises and stories you can find.
Speaking of rain, and atmosphere and snow and everything wonderful that Mother Nature provides, check out the work of one of my favorites, Alfred Stieglitz. Mr. Stieglitz was a giant in photography, someone who gets his very own lecture in my History of Photography class! His images of snow New York give you a real sense of how cold the city is in winter, and the adverse weather he ignored to make the most beautiful of images.
So next time it rains, or snows, don’t hide inside, grab your camera (and a handy trash bag to cover said camera), and go shoot! Or, find that nearest window and watch the magic happen. Capture some of that beautiful atmosphere in your own images!