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2017 03 21 April shower tryptich1So far this week, I have chased rainbows (unsuccessfully), sunsets (jury’s still out) and clouds (quite successfully). I’m getting quite good at chasing clouds* thanks in part to my neighbour Rob who saw me taking photos of clouds and kindly lent me a copy of Cloudspotting. As a consequence, my focus, weather-wise, over the last month has been very much on clouds rather than weather in general – or maybe it’s just been a bit nondescript – January seems to have been more interesting than February.

Anyway, I’ve got gazillions of photos of clouds to process. Meanwhile, having refocused on the bigger picture, this week has proved fruitful in the rain department with some very satisfactory pre-April showers.

2017 03 21 Cowley Road in the rain tryptich cropped2My rain photos are definitely improving. The challenge is to capture the essence of the rain without just taking the same basic picture over and over, which has lead to experimentation with different techniques. An effective one – and certainly the most comfortable – is to sit in the car and take pictures through the windscreen – bus windows are also quite effective, but you don’t get the same build up of water.

The two triptychs here were taken on the same day – once in the afternoon and once at night during short heavy downpours. The daytime one captures something of the essence of an April shower – heavy rain followed by bright sun, whilst the night-time one is more unusual – we tend to think of April showers as a daytime activity. For the night-time one, I took three pictures in quick succession then built them up in layers – the leftmost picture is a single photo, whilst the rightmost is a composite which has two pictures with 33% opacity over the original.

*Hint – avoid chasing clouds whilst driving along the ring-road. Just saying.