Rain, RAIN, Please Don’t Go Away… You are Quite Beautiful to Photograph

Who Grills Out in the Pouring Rain? We do! Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

This is another rainy post!  I hope you have your umbrella with you… or at least, I hope you’ll feel like you need to go grab one after viewing these photographs.  Saturday’s storm in Atlanta, Georgia was beautiful, and I was thrilled it occurred during the day because it made for great lighting.  My husband had just put some burgers on the grill when, all of a sudden, the sky began pouring rain.  I was ready to call our grill-out off and order Chinese… we did have two hungry kids under the age of three after all, but my husband was determined to save the burgers and not let them go to waste.   This was a great moment to photograph because, not only was my husband grilling in the pouring rain under an umbrella, there was steam coming out from our gas grill that was billowing around him.  I thought it made for a superb composition.  My only complaint about this photograph is that it was taken through the window, so it is not as clear as I would have liked (as most of these below are), but it still adds my perspective on the storm while viewing my husband.

A Scattered Composition of Raindrops and Flower Petals. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

When It Rains, It Pours. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

I love the dramatic linearity of the rain captured in some of these photographs… along with the downward pull of the lines.  This was my first attempt at photographing actual rain.  It was raining so intensely that the movement was pretty easy to capture.  I chose to extract the color from many of these photographs because the camera took more vibrant photographs, then what I had actually seen… and it bothered me so I tweaked these a bit.  I gave these a somewhat “white-washed” look to enhance the beautiful haze and ambiance of pouring rain.  This also allowed the streams of rain to be more visible against the subject.  I happen to love storms, and especially thunderstorms, and find it extremely pleasing and peaceful to sit quietly and observe a summer storm… preferably in a screened-in porch on a wooden swing… but our house doesn’t have a porch like that, so I settled for the windowed view.  The glass created a hazy filter, which might have actually worked to my advantage in this instance.  Earlier, when I looked back through these photographs before posting this, I felt as if I wanted to jump into these photographs and run and dance in the rain.  Perhaps, that’s just me but I like that these photographs have that affect on me.

Curtains of Rain. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

A Blissful Flower Shower. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches. 

The Green Tree Glow on Sunny Stormy Days. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

A Broom and Some Petals on a Sweepless Afternoon. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

An Organic Sound Machine. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

My grandfather passed away about a week ago, and photography is one of the ways I cope and heal with death.  I have sought therapy in my camera ever since my grandmother died four years ago.  This storm seemed like an appropriate correlation because it expresses my internal state of self without having to add an external element within these compositions.  Additionally, I photographed the house that sits directly across the street from ours.  The house belonged to an elderly Jewish couple, but now it belongs to a widow and her son.  We moved into this house four years ago and, for years, I observed the old man who lived across the street from me.  I noticed that this couple did everything together… just like both sets of my grandparents did… the love they had for each other was undeniable.  Every time I walked outside to take the dog out, or to get in the car to go somewhere, this man would approach me and begin telling me about his life.  I think he was beginning to lose his mind a little bit at this point because he would tell me the same stories over and over again.  He was fascinating to listen to, however, because he was, unfortunately, a Holocaust survivor, and a former prisoner of Dachau concentration camp during World War II.  He was eighteen years old when the camp was liberated and, soon afterwards, his family immigrated to New York.  I’m not sure how he got to Atlanta but, apparently, he started up a grocery store that generated a great amount of money back in the day.  This man would tell me how he had been living in that exact house for 50 years, and the next year, he would tell me 51 years.

Downpour Over a Virginia Highlands Neighborhood. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.

As first-time home buyers, my husband and I bought what we thought was a lovely, cute first home but it turned out to be a money pit.  It had to be completely renovated, everything re-done except the foundation… what a nightmare!  Especially since I was pregnant with my first child and had just become brave enough to give college a second try.  Anyways, back to the point…. the old Jewish man.  I could tell the old man was growing anxious, by the way he would sit on his front stoop and stare at our house day after day, whenever the construction crew and contractor showed up.  He mentioned to me one time that he didn’t want us to do anything to the outside of our house because it had been his view for 5o years.  Sadly, I couldn’t please him because our contractor told us that if we didn’t fix everything about this house, it would fall to pieces… it was built in the 40’s and built cheaply.  It was also cheaply renovated in the late 70s.  Everything was wrong with this house.  The old man across the street passed away about a year ago; the same year I lost my Granddaddy.  I see pain and loneliness in his widow’s walk day after day after day… I cannot imagine being married to someone for so long (and living and overcoming so much with one person), only to lose him all suddenly one day.  I now see this pain in my own grandmother.  These pictures below depict this widow’s house in the pouring rain.  These photographs are meant to evoke a sense of nostalgia and an emphasis on the impermanence of time.  I choose to collect these feelings and fleeting moments in a photographic form… to forever preserve what I’m feeling while I’m looking at what I’m photographing, at that point in time.  I only know the pain I feel as I’ve lost my grandparents one by one over the past 3 years, but I can tell this woman is strong, as my only living grandmother is.  Somehow they will cope and will survive, but I find it hard to believe anyone can ever get over a wound that deep.  Sorry to be a tad depressing with this post, but these photographs are representative of one those moments where I feel myself growing up as I’m thinking more about life and death.  Thank you for taking the time to read and view my blog.  Feel free to leave any and all feedback…

The Car Has No Choice but to Brave the Storm. Polly Nance. PhotoShop digital photograph. 8 x 10 inches.


17 thoughts on “Rain, RAIN, Please Don’t Go Away… You are Quite Beautiful to Photograph

  1. Great photos! And a great story of your neighbour. You are an excellent writer as well. Thanks for visiting my blog and liking my posts. That’s how I found you. (FYI: your blog takes a long time to upload. You might be loosing visitor traffic as a result. I gave up the 1st time I visitied. You might want to tweek the blog so it uploads faster. Please feel free to delete the FYI, as it is only for you.)

    • Yeah I need to tweak the blog… I keep getting comments about how slow it is to load but for some reason mine uploads fine. I am fairly new to the blogging world and so this may sound like a dumb question but what do i need to do or how should I tweak it to make it load faster? Thank you for your feedback and I’m glad you enjoyed my photographs and post! 🙂

      • The reason it uploads fine on your end is because your computer (cache is the tech word, I think) already knows what is in your blog. Your visitors’ computers don’t and have to upload everything on the page. This is my understanding, but I could be wrong.
        The way to tweak it will be to change your blog settings so that only one post is on the front page (dashboard, settings, reading, “click on radio button for front page displays: latest post, and save). Another way to make it faster will be to find a different theme that suits you and your blog’s personality as this one does, but is faster. Generally, the more pictures and more information on the page, the more time it takes to upload it. A good comparison is google page vs bing page, where google loads much faster.
        Hope this helps.

      • Thank you so much for the info… I clearly don’t know that much about blogs. I changed the settings so I hope things start working better. Thank you again and thanks for stopping by to view my blog!

  2. The rain actually is quite amazing to photograph – nice job! I actually started my interest in photography last August as a form of physical/emotional therapy for myself, and it has been a lifesaver! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! 🙂

  3. thank you for sharing your photos of the rain. I love the one of the roof and the tree. I definitely notice the drive in you to explore photography to the max. Thanks for taking the time to support others including myself.

Let me know what you are thinking :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s