Shoot In The Rain.

We’ve been lucky this year, here in the Pacific Northwest.  We just made it to something like 80 days in a row of no rain, well no measurable rain.  That truly is something and it hasn’t happend for 92 years.  But as those of us who live here know, it will end.  And as of yesterday it did.  The rains have returned.

With the rain comes, of course, gray, overcast days that don’t produce much light, very little contrast and soggy conditions that make you want to stay home.  This year I’m adapting a different approach.  I’m going to go out and stay out in it and make the rain, the wet earth, the gray skies my focus for photography for the winter.  That’s easy to say and the challenge has been made.

After all we are the center of the universe for goretex style clothing.  Between Eddie Bauer, Filsons, LL Bean and the rest, we here in the Pacific Northwest must account for a large percentage of their sales.  In other words we have access to all the dry, warm, well made clothing and shoes a person needs to go out in the inclement weather and enjoy the great outdoors, rain or rain and stay warm and dry.

To kick start my challenge of shooting in the rain this year I decided to head out on the very first day of a good downpour and went up to the Mt. Rainier National Park to Mowich Lake.  Mowich Lake is about 2 and a half hours from Gig Harbor, WA, up Highway 165 through Wilkenson and Carbanado.  Fourteen miles of this drive, just after Carbonado, is “washboard” roads that have been severely damaged by logging trucks so the drive is difficult. And along this stretch, not very pretty.  It’s been largely clear cut until you get to the park entrance.

But once you get to the Mt. Rainier National Park it all changes quite quickly to magnificently beautiful, even in the rain.  From the park entrance to the lake is a smoother drive through beautiful forest.  Arrival at the lake is breath taking.

The lake was shrouded in clouds, steady rain and 42 degrees F.  Quiet, peaceful and not one other visitor.  I knew I was in the right place and had made the right decision to shoot in the rain. 
However, my first thoughts were to wish for sunshine.  I thought to myself, wow, this is so beautiful I just wish it was nicer out.  But wait, isn’t that exactly the reason I was here, to look past the otherwise gloomy, unimpressive weather and find the natural beauty that lies in what was delivered?  My natural instinct was to want it to be different but what I wanted to do was have a change in perspective, to see in a new way, to appreciate the moment.

I spent the next couple of hours hiking around the lake on the well maintained trails and explored the area for photo opportunities.  Of course with the fall colors, the beautiful mist and the quiet peaceful atmosphere it was perfect.

As for my challenge to get out and shoot on these coming wet, gray and soggy days, this couldn’t have been a better send off or a more inspiring reason to keep doing it.

So, load up your gear, add some sandwich baggies and rubberbands to cover and protect your gear, make a sandwich, get your best and driest clothes and go shoot in the rain.

Thanks for Reading,
Tom


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