Waiting in the rain

Gastown at night in the rainIt took about an hour and a half to get the shot I wanted. I was in Gastown in Vancouver and it was raining, so there were nice reflections on the pavement. I tried about three angles before settling on this one and setting up a tripod.

I wanted a couple with an umbrella to stop next to a historic steam clock, but I wanted it completely candid, not posed. I also wanted interesting traffic movement, lights and the steam from the clock to be visible.

I waited while people passed in groups, some quickly, some with no umbrellas. A vehicle stopped illegally next to the clock for about 10 minutes. Drunks sometimes almost stumbled into me, and people asked what I was doing.

I was shooting at 1/10 second to get the right blur in the traffic and passing people, but wanted to freeze the subject, so they had to be stopped. Often they were too dark and appeared silhouetted.

Finally this couple stopped in just the right spot, with a beam of light behind them. A red car cruised by, and the steam was right. I held an umbrella over my camera gear and a remote release in my right hand, and in my left I pointed a speedlight at the pavement to bounce up at the couple and their umbrella. Then I fired this shot. I was soaking wet, but didn't care.


About Richard McGuire

Richard McGuire is a photographer and photojournalist based in Osoyoos in the South Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada.

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