Writing visual poetry with R-A-I-N

Writing visual poetry with R-A-I-N

It’s been almost three years since we started working on our R-A-I-N project. Since then we have not only embraced shooting in the R-A-I-N but have also fallen in love with it. I feel that photographing on sunny days is like writing a job assignment but shooting in the R-A-I-N is like writing a poem. It’s incredibly inconvenient due to the technical challenges of course, but also more difficult from a seeing perspective.

Everything around you is subtle, masked, almost hidden. When all the natural elements are hassling your body, you must concentrate twice as hard. You must observe more intensely and craft the imagery from very scarce elements. Then there is the light or rather lack of it. At least that appears to be the case for those who are not looking. It was certainly the hardest part when I started this project. However, with time you learn to see the light in different dimensions – even the slightest glimmer makes a difference. As I said, this is a subtle process.

The project R-A-I-N has also reinforced my stand on something else. In this almost psychotic search for sharpness, I embraced un-sharpness. This silky, hazy, muted appearance is something I often look for in my seeing. In this way I find images that are not plastic, perfect and surgical but rather poetic and frail as if they have soul. I am well aware that many of you will disagree but something is telling me that the age of sharpness in digital photography is coming to an abrupt end (topic for another discussion). Shouldn’t it be all about rendition and mood?

Then there’s colour. There is no question that we all long for perfect early morning or late afternoon light. This light spices up our images and gives them a new dimension. I never thought that R-A-I-N could do the same – or even more – until I started shooting extensively in rainy conditions. What colour! What depth!

Interestingly, these are not my favourite R-A-I-N images! For me the real visual poetry comes from a fusion of R-A-I-N and the atmosphere of the black and white film or simulation. These images are not loud or always easy for consumption but somehow stay with me longer. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know.

There is so much more I would like to share with you about this project but I should probably stop for now. Just yesterday I was shooting new material for the project, some of which you will find below plus some older imagery. I am also writing an in-depth “HOW IT WAS SHOT” series about R-A-I-N project for my Simplicity-In-Seeing subscribers, which I will share on this blog.

For those of you who would like to fall in love with photographing R-A-I-N, I would like to invite you to my Project R-A-I-N: Photography Workshop here in Vancouver, February 23-15, 2018. During this unique workshop, we will be studying and working together to produce a special and different body of work. So if you are crazy enough to dream, see and write poetry with R-A-I-N and want to do something new and exciting with your photography, join me in Vancouver. Look forward to seeing you there!

Here is our imagery, all taken with the X-Pro2 and various lenses.


and R-A-I-N in B&W…




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