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15 January 2019

One advantage of a drought, we've learned, is you never have to figure out how to shoot the rain. Not in the rain so much as the rain as a subject.

Rain. Macro shot at ISO 800.

Last weekend's forecast of a week of rain hasn't turn out to be very accurate. Yesterday was cold but clear. But it is raining today and the forecast for tomorrow is even more rain with some frightening gusts to go along with it.

So we thought we'd take a picture. You know, of the rain itself.

With the naked eye you can detect rain drops against a dark background rather easily from even a good distance away. But that's the good old naked eye.

Try to see the same thing with a camera in the little light a storm lets through and shutter speeds are slow enough to make the drops invisible.

So we tried a different approach.

We have windows on three sides of the building and sure enough one side had some rain drops on the window panes.

Storms are like that. They impose themselves on us.

To make them prominent we decided to shoot them with a macro lens arrangement. The important thing was to get the background across the street well out of focus and the drops themselves sharp.

We used an Olympus E-PL1 with a Lensbaby Composer with Tilt Transformer (so the Composer would mount on the Micro Four Thirds body) and added a +4 macro converter lens. That gave us the less constricted field of view we wanted.

Finding just the right composition took a moment. And making sure we were square to the window another moment.

We wanted the different color patches of the blurred background to occupy about the same space each. And we wanted some greenery to give us something of a horizon to put our optical feet on. After that we looked for a dramatic pattern of drops.

Of the handful of shots we took, we like this one the best.

As a Raw capture, it was tempting to bump up the exposure and darken the shadows. But increasing exposure would have made the scene bright. Not a storm at all. So we kept it dark.

But not dark enough to obscure the shadows which, in the diffused light of the storm, were not very deep. We had to edit the image almost the opposite of how we normally do.

Storms are like that. They impose themselves on us. And, if we're smart, we accommodate them. Because, after all, you can't fight Mother Nature.

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