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Tag Archives: Rain


What is the upside of a long and heavy downpour?  Photographically, I can think of at least two:  waterfalls and rainbows.  After a heavy rain, dozens of waterfalls were streaming down the steep volcanic cliffs of Moloka’i.  As the clearing storm clouds cast continually changing shadow patterns on the mountainside, I marveled at the sight.  Within a day or two, most of these waterfalls would disappear.  But for a while, each crevice of basalt was highlighted with a bright white ribbon of water following the path of least resistance.


storm clouds over Moloka'i

Storms clouds gather over the north shore of Moloka’i just before sunset.  We were lucky to make it out on several miles of dirt road before rain began to fall.  Those of you who have driven on the red island mud during or after a heavy rain know what I’m talking about.  Even having a 4WD is no guarantee of traction.

It made our darkly dramatic sunset all the more special.

halawa rainbow

It only took a five minute shower to produce this pretty rainbow.  And the wonderful thing about Hawai’i is that it doesn’t just rain in April…you can expect rainbows any time of the year.

Bring on the rain!

Mexico InsuranceI just returned from a too-brief road trip.  I was able to spend a few days driving the back roads of Arizona.  It rained.

It didn’t rain enough to make flash floods a danger, but it did rain enough to eliminate most of the dust that is the scourge of driving dirt roads carrying several cameras and related electronic accoutrements.

It rained enough to wash said road dust off the rocks and plants along the roads.  And enough to create a few temporary watering holes for the critters, though most of the rain soaked into the sandy soil and disappeared as quickly as it fell.

And it rained enough to clear the skies and clean the windshield and make the air smell fabulous.

I entered Arizona doing two things I hate:  driving on the Interstate and driving in the dark.  I had a splendid night’s sleep at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere.  Really.  I stretched out in the back of my SUV and slept like a baby.

The sky was thickly overcast when I went to sleep, so I felt no guilt about sleeping through sunrise.  I meandered south towards Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  I had been there several times, and loved the abundance of photo ops and lack of people.  I was hoping it hadn’t changed.  It had, and it hadn’t.  More on that in another post.

The road that goes through Organ Pipe continues into Mexico.  Because American vehicle insurance doesn’t cover drivers south of the border, there are several “Mexican Insurance” vendors in the towns of Ajo and Why.

Why name a town “Why?”  Dunno.  Because…

This particular insurance store provided a much-needed dose of color and cheer in an otherwise drab landscape on an overcast day.

There’s a saying that luck favors the prepared.  So when you’re driving some country back roads–in this case, in the Palouse region of eastern Washington–and a handsome horse ambles over to the fence to say hello…well, it would’ve been rude to just keep on driving.

When the same horse lines himself up with the stable and quaint weathered silo just behind him, looks right at you, and even puts both ears forward (mandatory in horse portraits, in case you didn’t know)…well, you know the photo gods are smiling down on you from the rainy heavens, and you’ve just GOT to memorialize the moment.

A typical barn in the Palouse region is about to weather another storm.  A heavy layer of rain-laden clouds hovers menacingly above the building that’s already endured decades of harsh weather.  The climate that gives these structures their beautiful weathered and sun-bleached patina is also the very thing which eventually causes their destruction.

I especially like the look of the green mosses and lichens that cover the roof of the barn, which echoes the green of the fields and hillsides among which the barn sits.  I also realize that they are contributing to the decomposition of the roof shingles.

Enjoy it while it lasts!

Continuing on my soggy sojourn through the Palouse, I came upon this funky barn and its four-legged residents.  They had more sense than the humans that day, since two out of three stayed smartly indoors.  I guess that’s the reason they call it “horse sense.”

It was raining fairly heavily, so my camera and I stayed dry in my car.  These guys were on a pretty busy road, and I had to park on the opposite side, so I was shooting images in between passing cars and trucks.  Thank goodness for telephoto lenses…and power windows!  Both got a good workout on this shooting trip that packed a week’s worth of rain into six days…

I guess the horse below had had enough of being cooped up and went out for some air while its buddy the mule stayed inside the dry barn. But all three definitely seemed to enjoy staying aware of the goings-on out on the road.  They watched my every move with interest until I drove off.  Probably wondering why a crazy human would be out and about on a day like this…

When rain falls on a purple flower, it becomes purple rain, does it not?

I love shooting flowers with raindrops or dew on them.  To me they just look so much more alive.

Yes, I know the trick of spraying dry flowers with a mist bottle, except that I don’t, because then they look like they were sprayed with a mist bottle.  The droplets have a certain phony uniformity to them.  Pros can tell the difference.

The wonderful thing about shooting flowers in Seattle is that the idea of having to mist them never even pops into one’s mind.  They are quite often wet with genuine rain.  And if you time it right, you can go shoot right after a downpour, have wonderful wet, vibrant flowers for a few minutes, and still keep your camera equipment dry.  The best of both worlds!