Photo Essay

Good Moments in Bad Weather

A smile in the rain

I'm a weekend photographer, and I used to always stay at home and sulk whenever it rains on a weekend. I figured: the light's no good, my gear could get wet, and the streets would be empty. There wouldn't be anything worth shooting. I'd complain in the forums whenever a weekend goes by and it's raining all afternoon. Until someone replied and suggested "why not shoot in the rain and see what you come up with?" I paused and figured "hmmm, why not?"

So there I was on the next rainy weekend, walking in the middle of the downpour with an umbrella on one hand, and my camera on the other. I walked and waited for quite a while, hoping for something interesting to happen. The street, as I suspected, was empty. But then I'd see the occasional lone drifter walking amidst the heavy rain in the middle of an otherwise crowded street. That's when I realized the potential for interesting human drama in bad weather. That's when I'd start to get excited with the rain.

I saw how some people would unintentionally stand out as they react to the rain. I see friends cramping up in one small umbrella, girls running barefoot because they didn't want to ruin their shoes, a man on a bike with a happy umbrella, I even saw a silhouette in the rain.

After every shoot I do in the rain, I always end up soaked. I'd be all wet from waist down, my camera with more than a few drops on it, my feet aching from all the walking, and with a little luck, I'd get a few keepers. And it's all worth it.

Nowadays I constantly check the weather forecast to see if there's a thunderstorm brewing in the coming weekend. The rain for me has become a blessing in disguise. What I used to detest and avoid, now I have learned to welcome and embrace. It gives a literal meaning to the saying "life's not about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about learning to dance in the rain!"

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18 responses

  • J.L. Sofka

    J.L. Sofka (Deleted) said (7 Jun 2010):

    I've never thought about going out in the rain to shoot, but after reading your story, I want to try it.

  • Kantilal Doobal TOURIST GUIDE

    Kantilal Doobal TOURIST GUIDE said (11 Jun 2010):


  • Ramesh Raskar

    Ramesh Raskar (Deleted) gave props (11 Jun 2010):

    Hey Danny Boy :) what an amazing story....fantastic end line :)

  • Bruce Kennedy

    Bruce Kennedy gave props (13 Jun 2010):

    Great essay, Danny! Wonderful individual shots, both composition & exposure. Well done!

  • Allen T

    Allen T (Deleted) said (15 Jun 2010):

    Voted for your great story!

  • Cristina Pascu

    Cristina Pascu gave props (17 Jun 2010):

    yeah :)

  • Alessandro Rulli

    Alessandro Rulli gave props (23 Jun 2010):

    I like your work!!

  • Brittany Biel

    Brittany Biel gave props (1 Jul 2010):

    Seriously, this inspires me to get out and shoot in the rain. I have the same attitude you used to, but I'm definitely going to give it a go. Your work is amazing. Aaaand, I really hope this gets published. :)

  • Cee Matos

    Cee Matos said (16 Sep 2010):

    These are friggin Brilliant!

  • Artur Bednarz

    Artur Bednarz said (29 Dec 2010):

    A very interesting story, but even more interesting photos. I'm into street photography too, but maybe I'm too shy - usually I'm ending up with a bunch of photos of buildings or silly details. Anyway. I like your photos a lot. Well done.

  • Zapata Juan P

    Zapata Juan P gave props (5 Jan 2011):

    my vote !

  • Michaela K.

    Michaela K. gave props (9 Jan 2011):

    my vote

  • Nadezda Tarakina

    Nadezda Tarakina gave props (12 Jan 2011):

    Very good essay and photos!

  • Carol Holmes

    Carol Holmes gave props (18 Feb 2011):

    This made for wonderful reading and your images are great! It would be awesome to see it published. *voted*

  • Jodi Sloboda

    Jodi Sloboda gave props (15 Mar 2011):

    I loved every photo posted and loved the story even more. What a wonderful perspective. And the last line...brilliant. Nicely done! Thanx so much for sharing. I'd love to see this published.

  • Novak Nastasić

    Novak Nastasić gave props (17 Jun 2011):

    I always loved rain and fog captured in photos. Provide for some great atmosphere.

  • The Man Who Isn't There

    The Man Who Isn't There (Deleted) gave props (5 Dec 2011):

    Great series of shots!

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