Rain Check: The Story Behind This Photo


Tech Talk: Shawn Clover took his Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens downtown and got this image at 1/500 sec, f/5.6, and ISO 400, with the camera set for aperture priority exposure and Evaluative metering.
© Shawn Clover

When the rain stopped, Shawn Clover was on the pedestrian bridge over the street at the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, waiting for someone interesting to come by. He ended up photographing 14 interesting people, one frame for each. This is the image he chose to post to Flickr.

But not right away. “I never thought anything of it at first,” he says, “but later came back to it and put it up. A lot of people reacted well to the image, so that’s one way to pick a winner: see all the feedback.”

He did some work on the original with Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro, mainly removing the color, adding a bit of contrast, and cropping to achieve symmetry. “This is about 80 percent of the original,” he says.

And going out to shoot on a rainy day? “I like rainy days,” Clover says. “A lot of people put their cameras away and hide indoors, but I like to head out in the rain because there are a lot of opportunities with puddles, reflections, and nice clean ground. In this picture, it’s because of the rain that there’s that nice black-on-white contrast of the tiles and the grout.”

Clover titles his photographs, mostly using lines from songs. This one is called You Can Forget All Your Troubles.

View a selection of Shawn Clover’s photos at his website, www.shawnclover.com. Don’t miss the extraordinary Fade to 1906 under Projects.