“I can tell Bob Dylan in an instant,” she said. “Because his harmonica’s worse than Stevie Wonder?” She laughed again. Nice to know I could still make someone laugh. “No, I really like his voice,” she said. “It’s like a kid standing at the window watching the rain.”
Haruki Murakami, from Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
When I read this yesterday it got me thinking about rain. So here is a collection of pictures of rain.
I am fortunate in that I have a Lumix Panasonic G9 camera and a 3 lenses that are weatherproof. An Olympus 17mm f1.2, a Leica 12mm f1.4 and an Olympus f2.8 60mm macro lens. In the past I have used sandwich bags to protect my cameras and lenses. Put the camera in a resealable camera bag with a filter. Pull the bag tight over the lens and screw the filter back on so that it cuts a hole in the bag. You can then attach a lens hood to keep rain off the front of the filter. Don’t go swimming with it. I once did experience a freak downpour with a Canon 5D and this setup and the camera was fucked up to the tune of several hundred quid but insurance paid out for it. The picture below is my Lumix GX9 and Olympus 17mm 1.8 lens.
If you are wondering about the strap, its shock cord you can buy from outdoor shops. There will be a blog about my straps soon.
Here are some of my rain pictures taken with various equipment including mobile phones. Click on any picture to enlarge it and then scroll through. If you look below the pictures you will see metadata with details of equipment.
Last year at Shrewsbury Festival, music teacher and musician Diana Buckle asked me if I would take a few shots of her mandolin workshop. The weather was absolutely foul, my duties as steward weren’t particularly onerous, so I agreed.
Having the consent of the facilitator means that no one complains about being photographed in my experience. I grabbed a few introductory shots of the weather and the empty tent before people arrived but most it of happens by instinct. Much of the storytelling happens in the editing. How do you decide which is the right shot? Not easy. Years ago I bought a book called ‘The Right Picture’ by a photographer Ken Heyman and John Durniak a picture editor. Its probably time I read it again but it has made editing easier over the years. Its still available new and used. I edited this down to 9 shots from around 50.
It was an interesting exercise. I was using a Panasonic Lumix G9 micro four thirds camera and an Olympus 17mm f1.2 lens. Both are weatherproof. I have used this outfit in heavy rain and snow for several hours without any problems.
The G9 is not my favourite camera I find it heavy and cumbersome. The shutter release is a real hair trigger job and not recessed to prevent accidental operation. If you leave it switched on whilst carrying it accidental operation is inevitable. I can’t fault the image quality, the extra pixels of the 20mp sensor are evident. I miss my old Lumix GH4R’s they were light and a delight to use but their 16 mp sensors were outdated.
The Olympus 17mm f1.2 is again a heavy piece of kit but indispensable in wet weather its f1.2 maximum aperture gathers lots of light in very dark conditions.
My preferred lens is an Olympus f1.8 which is minute in comparison but doesn’t have a built in raincoat. Combined with my GX9 body(also 20mp) they will fit into a large pocket. I shall be publishing a blog about the 17mm lenses I use soon.
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