I was teaching in London again yesterday and afterwards met up with Corinna, who’s both my good friend and my employer. She took a rare few hours off to share lunch, drinks and a long, long catch-up chat. London pubs in the late afternoon in the run-up to Christmas tend to be very busy, noisy places; this one was no exception, especially when a large group of elderly men gathered next to us and produced a decibel level that was hard to believe possible. When we found we were trying to lip-read each other because there was no other way to communicate, we thought we’d better get out of there and go somewhere more peaceful for a coffee. But, hey…..when we got outside it was raining heavily and the coloured reflections and lights were to die for. So instead of the coffee, we spent an excited hour or so in the rain with our cameras.
I’m astonished that I’ve got as many usable shots as I have. My camera doesn’t handle noise well, so I try not to put the ISO over 800. I was forced to go up to 1600 this time, but even that wasn’t really enough to get a fast enough shutter speed and I had to use the widest possible aperture, so my depth of field wasn’t great either. Add in the fact that I was handholding at shutter speeds of around 1/6 to 1/4 of a second and it’s hard to believe I didn’t have to chuck the whole lot of them out. But I think these are the kind of shots where a little bit of noise or blur doesn’t matter too much and I think they capture the atmosphere pretty well.
Isn’t it amazing, we said as we headed for home, that when you take up photography rain suddenly becomes a thing of beauty instead of something to be avoided?