Cold Rain

Abstract / Still Life
  • Shutter: 1/30 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama

It is raining tonight — a cold sleety rain that falls in fits and starts, almost as if God himself is casting it from the heavens in disgust. There is no comfort in this rain, no beauty, no salvation. It pierces the skin with its jagged edges, sparkles in the moonlight like shards of frozen glass.

As I gaze out the window into the wet nothingness of another Friday night, I ponder the meaning of it all. My questions have no answers; my path has no trail. It is easy to feel alone in the quiet hush of this midnight world — easy to be swept away by the rain. Tomorrow will no doubt be a new day, but tonight — tonight it seems as if tomorrow may never come.

Update 11 a.m. January 29, 2005. It seems that tomorrow does eventually come, even if it continues to be cold and rainy. Nevertheless, things always look better in the light of day, and my life is no exception. Nicholas and I have had a lazy morning sharing the newspaper and eating my absolute favorite food in the world — hashbrowns with cheese and onions. I have photos in the paper today and we have a trip scheduled to Birmingham (about 60 miles from Tuscaloosa) later this afternoon.

A lot of the things that seemed so bleak yesterday are really just inconveniences, not catastrophes. I had an echocardiogram that revealed tricuspid regurgitation and a slight left to right shunt through the mid-portion of the atrial septum. It will be next week before I understand what this means completely, but the fact is that I feel fine today and that is all that counts. My grandfather’s doctor visit went well, and he says he doesn’t think the weird sound my car is making is anything more serious than a loose belt.

My computer’s hard drive is toast, but its one-year warranty expired today, meaning that Apple will cover the replacement. I should have it back within two weeks with a dandy new hard drive that will run much faster and more efficiently without the 60GB of excess stuff. Nicholas gave me permission to spend $239 to renew my warranty, which means I will have an additional two years of telephone tech support and repair coverage if future problems should arise. In all likelihood, my data is gone, but while in Birmingham we plan to visit CompUSA to buy a 6-pin to 6-pin firewire cable in an attempt to boot my PowerBook into target disk mode and drag whatever contents can be salvaged onto another computer. My music should be able to be transferred from my iPod via third-party software.

There is a little money in the bank and a little more expected Monday, which is a good thing because I suspect that our trip to Birmingham will include a stop at Barnes and Noble as well as Cameras Brookwood. All in all, things could be worse. Things have been worse. And I of all people should remember that.

Besides, I have Rain-X, as some of you savvy photographers can see from the photo above. After playing with it for a while last night, I have come to a few conclusions. I will never be a master droplet photographer like RainKing at Round Here. All of his work is excellent, but his water photos are absolutely sublime. As for me, I have a long way to go.

The photo above was taken by suspending a piece of Rain-X treated beveled glass between two books and using an eyedropper to randomly scatter drops. Of course, the first thing I tried was to simply pour a cup of water onto the glass. Trust me, this does not work. As the sheet of glass is flat, this sudden deluge of water only resulted in immediately running off the glass and onto my desk, my already-dead-enough PowerBook, my iPod, the chair, my cat, and the floor. I think my mood started to slide south at this point 🙂

The photo is not the one I envisioned, by far, but it was an attempt to do something new, so I guess that counts for something. The greenish tint is the reflection of the beveled glass, and of course the photo was rotated in-camera to create a diagonal line for interest.

There are photographers who have done amazing things with water, and I anticipate many happy hours trying to shamelessly emulate them. As long as there is photography, life can’t be too bad.

Music of the day: Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel

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