Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gray












Last night there were clouds. A storm began to roll through in late afternoon and everything went dark for the rest of the day. The rain didn't start until evening, about eight o'clock. But the wind, and clouds, were prominent features throughout the afternoon and early evening hours. Cloudy skies make me happy. They mean a break from the unrelenting heat and sun we normally have here. We are on the cusp of our annual "monsoon" season, the time of year when the weather pattern brings us thunderstorms and rain showers. Given that we are in a state of extreme drought, this is a much-anticipated monsoon season. It remains to be seen how productive it will be, but everyone is hopeful.

Cloudy conditions are exciting to me for another reason: they give me a chance to photograph things differently. I'm still very much a beginning photographer but lately I have been experimenting more. I've really enjoyed shooting in different types of light, especially the filtered, grayish kind we get on a cloudy evening. Plants and other items outdoors get a pearly quality and certain colors seem to stand out more: the lush greens of leaves and stems, the deep cobalt of my Talavera birdbath, the cherry red of my trailing potted verbena. Indoors, things look softer, with less shadow and fewer reflections. I think most things indoors look nicer on a cloudy day. My friends in rainier climes would probably disagree, but I think it's a matter of perspective. Or maybe it's just the novelty of an unusual weather pattern: electric lights in afternoon, the wind picking up, the first fat raindrops splatting against the windows.

We ate our hastily-grilled hotdogs with baked beans and broccoli slaw before the rain began. Then we cleaned up, played a few rounds of Candy Land and bundled our small Bears off to bed. The Bear and I settled in for the evening. The rain began and we sat under the skylight listening to it fall. After awhile, I made popcorn on the stove and we watched a Jim Gaffigan video on Netflix. The rain lashed the windows at the back of the house and the canales ran for a little while. There was distant thunder. We could smell the wetted outdoors. All the while, the light grew paler and bluer outside, the trees silhouetted darkly against the sky. The storm brought coziness and comfort and promise.

20 comments:

  1. After just spending a very hot and very dry three weeks in the desert area in the South of Spain I can relate to your post completely. Your photos are lovely.
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about camera shots as I am just starting a course of lessons and I found your thoughts really interesting
    Kindest regards linda

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  2. Jennifer,

    Like you my interest in photography is now extending to being a little more adventurous. I like the light when it is muted. St Ives is famous for its' light. It's why so many artists spend time here.

    I loved the first photo.

    You photograph food well. I haven't the hang of it yet!

    Leanne xx

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  3. Love your photos. The bed looks ever so cosy with the blanket and cushion. So nice to get cosy indoors and listen to the rain on the windows x

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  4. Your post is beautifully written Jennifer, and your pics lovely! I found your photography comments very interesting - food for thought.
    I too love to hear those first spatters of rain on the windows after a dry weather spell - but sometimes they don't come to anything and that is disappointing when we desperately need rain. I'm glad you were not disappointed.
    Your blanket looks gorgeous on your bed, and your stripy one is so colourful and pretty as well - and I do like that little wee jug and bowl, such a lovely design!
    Enjoy your family weekend!
    Joy x

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  5. It's been raining here since Wednesday! Luckily it stopped this afternoon. We got a brutal storm yesterday. The power went out for about an hour! Our pool hasnt cleared because we've had so much rain so needless to say we're hoping for warmth and sun. I'll try my best to send the rain to you :) We had hot dogs and baked beans for dinner tonight. So so good! and Candy land...oh I havent played that in forever. My boy cousin and I used to play. He'd through a fit whenever I got Queen Frostine :) What kind of popcorn did you make? We make it on the stove...the jiffy pop kind! So good

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  6. Beautifully written and love your pictures. Hoping you get the much needed
    rain. Here in oz some areas have had more than a months rain in 1 day!!
    Where I am it is cold but sunny today and thinking of a nice bbq lunch ☺

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  7. You write beautifully! Your words flow nicely and I feel like I'm there. Hope y'all get some rain. I know it's much needed. Enjoy your weekend! :)

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  8. Beautiful images and your story has wonderful imagery, too! Yes, the best photos are taken on overcast days.. glaring sun is not the best for photographs. Enjoy your rain.. we are enjoying our sunny streak. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  9. Hi Jennifer,Lovely pics and a well written post!!!When I got to the end I wanted more!!!!Enjoy your weather and I hope you get lots of rain!!!!Have a great day!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  10. I was beginning to think your post had the wrong title, the photos are so colourful. The bird bowl is so cute. Hope the rain brings all you were hoping for.
    S xx

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  11. Hi Jennifer, I love thunderstorms too but our summer hasn't been brilliant so far so I'm hoping we don't get any! Love your blanket and cushion!
    I thought I was already a follower and that perhaps you didn't post that often! Off to read more.....:) x

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  12. I find it really had to take good photos inside when it's raining / gloomy outside, I just cannot get the right light! I need to work on it! But I struggle when it's overly bright too! I really want to learn more about taking photos, and learn more about the manual settings - one day! I love your photos. There is something so cozy about thunderstorms and being inside, I love it! :)

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  13. Loved this post- great stories behind the photos, all your things look so bright against the grey skies. Enjoy your cooler days :)

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  14. It's been very grey around here too. I could do without the thunderstorms though, we have had so much rain!

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  15. I have to say I'm the opposite, I loathe cloudy days and my spirits lift dramatically when i see blue skies. I find cloud oppressive and very hard to photograph in, as it seems to dull and flatten the colour. But your photos are full of colour. Maybe if I lived somewhere sunnier I would welcome cloud more! But I'm very happy to hear you had some rain, I hope it helps with your drought. x

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  16. Yes, I am also the opposite, I love sunny days and blue skies. I live in the southeast and we have lots of rain and cloudy days. It's cloudy now and looks like it could rain (again) any minute. If I lived in the desert I would probably welcome a cloudy day from time to time. Love all of your happy photos!

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  17. Light filtered through cloud is great for photography, as long as there's enough of it. I think the problem here in the UK when it's overcast is that the cloud cover is often quite thick and so the available light can be really very low on a grey day.

    Your bird bath is so pretty :D

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  18. We are in drought too, despite being Winter and living in the coldest States of Australia, we get very little rain. Not so good when you are on tank water! I agree with you on the photography stuff - cloudy days produce a beautiful light as the sun is way too bright here. Your blanket is gorgeous Jennifer :-)

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  19. Oh I'm so terrible, I've gotten behind on commenting on a few blogs. What lovely pictures Jennifer. I love your photos of your flowers, they are beautiful. And what a lovely bird bath you have.

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  20. I love having a change in perspective. Your "gray" day sounds wonderful, right down to the popcorn on the stove (my favorite!).
    Jill @ Blue Plate Sundays

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