Here in Santiago, where we plan on celebrating the apocalypse with tacos and chocolate (and tequila for the drinkers), we’d been expecting a very unseasonable rain. Basically, it doesn’t rain from November to April. We occasionally get a heavy rainstorm in the middle of summer, but for the eight years I’ve been living here, I have no recollection of a rain in December, and certainly not the pouring down thrum thrum thrum of the rain we had yesterday.
All winter long, I find something to complain about, mostly being cold in my apartment and the feeling I get that there’s a low cloud ceiling and the fear of inhaling deeply, thereby introducing soot into my lungs. Exaggerating a bit, but really, the air in Santiago in the winter? Not entirely breathable.
And then there’s summer. Blaring, bright, stain-your-skin summer. So hot. And dry. And dazzling. And it turns out I don’t like that so much, either. Or at least I try not to spend too much time out in it, what with the drying up from the inside out. So yesterday, rain duly announced, I was more or less glued the window, bemoaning the delay of the rain. And as soon as it started, I went outside. It was a slow drizzle, and I even took off my raincoat, so I could feel the rain on my arms.
And then I came inside, and kept working. And the sun went down. And it started pouring.
So I did what any sensible person would do. I packed up my camera and my tripod and went outside. And I’m so glad I did.
Pictured above is Rooney’s, a misuse of a classic architecture building at the corner of the Alameda and Ejercito. Notice awesome drainage of Santiago streets.
From the bandejón central (sort of a long traffic island), looking east towards the Entel Tower, and I may just have some rain on my lens filter, but so what?
Manuel Rodriguez (I-5 is over to my left, this is kind of the service road for the Panamerican highway/ I-5), and Moneda, looking towards the Huérfanos (pedestrian) bridge.
The Huérfanos bridge in the distance, from the sidewalk over the Panamerican highway (and the metro tracks, in the center) at Agustinas.
Almirante Barroso, a street I like to call “muddy admiral” for reasons which would be obvious to you if you spoke Spanish.
Just some faroles. Oh yes, lamposts. Related to the word faro, which means lighthouse, which I think is a lovely connection, and a nicer word than lampost.
It was a lovely evening, and I was struck with the kind of euphoria about the ridiculousness of what I was doing that I almost wanted to pop into a hostel (for Barrio Brasil is rife with them), to get people to come outside and take photos with me, but I knew I would seem sinister, though I totally wasn’t, and also crazy, which well, whatever.
I was on my toes a little bit, what with the having the camera out in the middle of the darkness, and since Christmas is almost upon us, crime seems to have taken a bit of an uptick. I tried to be pretty conscious of what was going on around me, but while I was squatting down to take that shot of the lamppost lights reflected in the puddle, someone surprised me, a semi-toothed tall, lanky Colombian (from the accent) guy, who had a lopey walk, and kept on saying, “lograste unas buenas tomas?” (did you get any good shots), but I could only vaguely hear him because my blood was thrumming in my ears what with the adrenaline, to replace the sound of the rain which had stopped falling.
I guess I think I did (get some good shots).
And thanks to Santa Isabel for my really awesome camera cover, also known as a plastic grocery bag, which I tore a hole in to poke the lens out through. I think I learned that from Pam, who totally would have participated in this foray, were she not in Seattle at the moment.
Great stuff. I love using rain and night in images.
take me with you one eve when we’re both in the same place. Would love to watch the master at work! I know I could do better. Plus maybe you use a jumbo bag, not santa isabel?
Beautiful shots Eileen! Wish I could have joined you on that shooting in the rain moment! Love seeing Santiago so shiny and sparkly! A view seldom seen!
awww thanks, Margaret. Mainly seldom seen because if you think I’m going out when it’s cold and rainy to take pics, you are sadly mistaken. That’s how one gets chilblains! Kidding, but until they make a guatero suit (or at least a guatero vest), I’m probably staying inside on rainy days!
This delights me for all kinds of reasons, two of them being:
Of course I’d have joined you.
I’ve been shooting in the rain a lot lately. There’s something dreamy about it.
I would not have made you go out in the rain in your sick state, Pam. I hope you’re feeling better. But I will bring you a plastic bag to put over your camera any time.
WOW! I’m so glad you ventured out too. Stunning.
anything for a good photo! Well, not really, but I have noticed that I never feel grumpy or cold or hungry when I’m taking photos!
Rain in summer? I would have been so happy to see that. I remember once in 2007 it rained in February. I love the shot of the Huerfanos bridge!
I know, Abby. It was so weird. And it’s still cloudy and overcast today. All good for preparing for the end of the world, I suppose!
Gorgeous! I was snug in my house cursing the rain and the cold (although I will admit to enjoying the fresh air). You know me, I want the sun and the heat back!
But Emily, the sun and heat are the same for so many weeks on end. I just like a little pretty to mix it up. Plus I love night photos. Delicious long exposures!
Stunning photos. Thanks for the post. I think you should be celebrating the end of the world with pisco and completos instead of tequila though. When in Rome…
Thanks, Alicia, don’t think I’ve seen you here before. I consume neither pisco nor completos, and I’m not in charge of the party, so I’m just following along. Who’s to complain! I hope you get your pisco and completos in though, if that’s what you’re after. I’m looking forward to a post-apocalyptic bike ride, myself. I hope there are no zombies!
Hey Eileen! It’s been a while, how you been? Lovely pictures of the downpour! Hope you have a wonderful Holiday, keep in touch!
Hi Manuela! I just got your card. And it’s beautiful! I hope we can get together, and thanks for the positivity on the pics. I would love to see some of your recent work!
Love the photo from the bridge.
Thanks Stephanie. I remembered that view from when I first lived over there, and I got my first DSLR and could control the exposure time, and I was hooked. Even better in the rain! Thanks for popping in!
Las fotos están hermosas, sobretodo la de Ejercito con Alameda. Los reflejos… los reflejos…
En cuanto a la lluvia… es poco frecuente, pero no algo nunca visto…
Imagina un momento: 25 de diciembre de 1991. Nublado, frío, los niños en la calle probando sus juguetes nuevos, los llamados de sus madres a almorzar… 3:00 PM, estalla el diluvio, como si San Isidro hubiese abierto la llave del agua… cerca de 40 mm, con viento, rayos, truenos, y creo que hasta nieve en el sector alto de Santiago….
Algo que no se te borra facilmente…
Claro que sí. Lo que decía es que no había llovido durante mis diciembres acá! Me acuerdo de que cuando llegué en 2004, fui a la Quebrada Macúl con unos amigos y me contaron harto sobre lo que mencionaste arriba. Creo que esta vez no sufrieron tanta pérdida.
Dicen que llueve de nuevo el martes, así que veremos si hay mas fotos, mas salidas. Gracias por comentar, y sí los reflejos, los reflejos!
Oh fabulous rain! I loved it. And I love your photos. I feel inspired to learn how to properly work my canon 400D. It is shameful that I haven’t as yet. So, thank you.
I have really enjoyed getting to know my camera better. We could do a skype date if you can’t get away from the littles to give some quick pointers. Thanks for the photo props!
Great photos, Eileen! I love rainy days especially when they bring or include cooler temperatures. Happy holidays!
Happy holidays, to you, too! I’m anti-summer, which I never knew before I lived in this twice-as-long summer land!