Thursday, May 21, 2009
Our own Venetian canals, flooding and gray skies
What is one to do when it rains every day? I know many of our friends in other countries, and in a beautiful city such as Seattle, Washington, can go on and on with long lists of dozens of rainy day activities. They deal with it nearly year-round. Me? It's Tampa. Florida. The Sunshine State. Where bright blue skies and oppressive heat are the daily norm. But the rain? I can well remember a morning in Venice, trying to cross the bridge and visit Peggy Guggenheim's house, and enjoy her incredible collection of modern art. The rain soaked walkways and passageways from St. Mark's were so under water that ankle deep puddles, torn umbrellas and pants soaked to the knee were the result. But, here's the kicker, my photos as we crossed the Ponte dell' Accademia over the canal to the buildings, boats and people were outstanding. The clarity. The colors. So unbelievable and memorable. Some of my best ever. Now, the equipment (and I) were soaked but the results that day from the bridge work because of the weather. Rainy gray skies are often the perfect measurable neutral gray which result in excellent color fidelity. The brilliance of the colors isn't affected by the color of the sky. Now please understand, I am not complaining about our rain. We need it so bad. But the lack of sunshine, constant drizzling and thunderstorms do get to your mood. Is it blue, melancholy, depressing? Or contemplative and good for the mind and soul to not be ravished to a crisp by the heat and sun every minute of the day. The constant downpours over the past several days mean a light jacket and umbrella are at hand, and in use. This evening I met a friend for drinks at a terrific restaurant on the water. I darted in and out parking the car and was clearly reminded of making my way to Peggy's house in Venice and the fun of not quite dodging or escaping the deluge that frequently consumes that magnificent city. Tampa is not Venice. But from time to time it's nice to be reminded of the colors that surround us and the comforting nature of a good, hard rain.