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.
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.
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.
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…
PEACE, LOVE UNTIL MY NEXT POST, DEAR FELLOW BLOGGING FRIENDS.