A Rainy Night in Cape Girardeau

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013Ever wonder why car ads always show wet roads, but it’s never raining? It’s because all the reflections are REALLY neat.  This is southbound on Kingshighway south of Broadway. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)

I had to make a run to UPS to send a thumb drive full of photos to the Athen (OH) Historical Society and Museum. When I stopped by there last month, I left off a bunch of photos I took when I worked in Athens back in the late ’60s and early 70s. Friend Jan and I had barely gotten out of town when curator Jessica Cyders pinged me to ask if I thought it would be possible to put together an exhibit on the Martin Luther King National Day of Mourning I shot in 1968 by February 27 to cap off a Black History Month conference. Since Jessica and Danielle Echols were doing to do most of the heavy lifting, I agreed.

I’m flying out to speak to the group at the end of the month, and I’m busy putting together a show catalog right now. It’s neat that someone thinks my old stuff is worth sharing.

Tuesday I’m supposed to speak to a historical preservation class at Southeast Missouri State University. I threw in a lot of new Cape-specific stuff this afternoon, so what I say is going to be as big a surprise to me as it will be to the class.

Stop light at Pacific and Independence

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013After I dropped the drive at UPS, I decided I’d drive around looking for rain art. Photographers always thought life was unfair. Reporters did weather stories by calling the weather bureau, digging out clips about the Last Big Storm and, if they could be bothered, looking out the windows. Photographers had to get their shoes muddy.

Old Traffic Bridge

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013Downtown was kinda blah, so I stopped by what remains of the old Traffic Bridge.

Since I retired, my new contract says that I don’t go hungry, get wet or lift heavy objects. These photos were all taken from inside my van with the heater running.

Haarig or Good Hope

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013The wind and rain were really whipping from the south when I paused on Good Hope looking west toward Sprigg. It was coming across the road in sheets.

Pacific looking south from SEMO

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013

I figured I’d better scope out where I’m supposed to be presenting Tuesday, so I went up Pacific to the Carnahan Building. On the way back I tried to capture the rain coming up the street and down the hill.  These are the times I envy the TV guys with their video. It’s tough to get across the concept of driving rain in a still.

Through the windshield

Rainy streets in Cape 02-18-2013When an oncoming car lit up the water droplets on the windshield, the camera’s autofocus thought that’s what I wanted to shoot. It’s neat, and I’m glad it happened, but it wasn’t my target.

7 Replies to “A Rainy Night in Cape Girardeau”

  1. I made a whole picture page once of a rain soaked Fourth of July in Athens County. All the parades and games were cancelled, so raindrops on my windshield became my subjects. Amazingly it worked.

    1. I had a love–hate relationship toward weather art. Some days it would make for an easy photo; other days you’d be wet and miserable all day long. I hope I never get a shoe full of icy slush ever again. Or have my boot pull off wading through gumbo mud.

  2. Ken, that last photo reveals something that most people would miss. You use Rain-X http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Rain-X.

    Anyone that drives in the rain should have Rain-X on their windshield, windows and mirrors; the raindrops bead up and literally slide off the windshield, dramatically improving visibility.

    When you talk to the Historical Preservation class, you should probably point out the lack thereof in Cape.

    1. There was no real magic involved. I shot everything with a Nikon 18-55 zoom, generally at some of the longer zooms, up to the maximum. Because the meter would want to make the dark areas brighter, blowing out the highlights, I generally underexposed by about 1.3 stops from what the camera wanted to do.

      Everything was shot through the windshield glass. The biggest challenge was to shoot right after the windshield wipers made a swipe to clean off the class.

  3. 4.5, which may or may not be wrong as well, but I damn sure know it’s not a 3.5.”—When I saw the rating I knew this man probably looked at it sideways haha. I think it’s a 4 but I see what you’re saying boss. It’s easily one of my favorites from the album.

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