’Round Town

The blur

Wed, 09/28/2022 - 7:15am

Before anyone calls up the Register to complain about the quality of my image this week, please be advised that it’s not the printer’s fault. I did it!

One of my rather offbeat “obsessions” is photographing in the rain. I know that this is a rather peculiar interest, but by now, anyone who reads this column knows that I have a few “unusual” glitches. Perhaps there may be some concern regarding my desire to share these idiosyncrasies, but life is short, so why not take a walk on the wild side? This image was somewhat accidental but mostly intentional.

My 2003 VW Jetta has a problem with the heating system. The last time I turned on the defroster to clear the windshield, the engine coolant drained out causing all sorts of alarms, least of which was the check engine light. So, until I have time to check this system out, I have been reluctant to re-involve the car’s heating system. Instead I carry a towel for when things steam up. This has worked well until the recent downpour we got last week.

As I was traveling my alternate route from Wiscasset to Edgecomb, avoiding to some extent the bumps and bruises of Route 27, my entire cockpit steamed up. I pulled over to begin wiping the windows so I could see better and then stopped suddenly to observe the scene that had arrived in front of me. It was cooler outside with the rain than inside heated only by my breathing and body heat. I had no idea I was so hot!

So, as I sat in the middle of the road, with only clear vision out the back, because the rear window defroster worked fine, the wipers whipping frantically, it occurred to me to reach for the camera. I really liked the softness and distortion as seen through the windshield, or windscreen as my British friends would say. The trick now was to switch the wipers to slow intermittent swipes between which I could make an exposure. The next trick, because the manual focus setting on the wide-angle lens I carry was broken, was to figure out how to get some focus lock without opening the driver’s side window with torrential rain. That’s classified information!

Between the slow swipes of the wipers, I managed to make a few exposures and was tickled pink with the outcome. Because, as I have earlier mentioned, I’m weird. I really liked the sort of painterly quality of the photo I am sharing. And, I know that there are probably 47 different ways this can be done with Photoshop, Lightroom, and Lord knows how many other things which I know nothing about and don’t care to.

WARNING! Do not try this while vehicle is underway!