During our recent Florida visit, we went to the Boardwalk Resort at Walt Disney World, so that we could do a walking tour of the Epcot Resorts. On the way there, and even when we first arrived, the rain was coming down pretty hard. Fortunately, it stopped soon after we got there. But the recent rain did create some interesting photo opportunities, because of the simple fact that it made everything wet.
A thin layer of water can give things an interesting look, as so many things suddenly become more reflective. Not that inanimate objects suddenly start to think about their life history, because that would be silly, but rather they start to reflect the light around them much more than they do when they are dry. The rough wooden surfaces of the boardwalk begin to reflect the sky above, or the chairs and tables, or anything else around. In dry times, as you probably know, wood does not reflect much at all.
Times like these do not last all that long, especially in the Florida heat that can quickly dry up any traces of a recent rain shower, so you either have to time it just right or happen to be at the right place at the right time. We fell into that latter category, because we definitely had not gone out chasing rainstorms. Actually, that would not be all that difficult to do most of the time in Central Florida, because it rains there so often. Especially if we are in town.
Also, the sky right after the rain can take on an interesting look as well, as you can see here. And actually, there was still some rain falling from time to time. Not enough to get us terribly wet, however. Just enough to keep us a little cooler than we would have been if the sun had been out. Having taken this walk under the blazing Florida sun before, feeling like each hotel we arrived at was a beautiful oasis in an otherwise barren desert, we did not complain about a few raindrops at all.
Besides helping us keep cool, another nice side effect of the rain is to take away most of the people that would otherwise be out there. The Boardwalk, and all of the Epcot Resort, are not all that crowded during this time of day (mid to late afternoon) anyway, but the rain appeared to have driven away even more of the people that would normally be out there, judging from past experiences. As you can see here, except for a couple of people way off in the distance, Laura pretty much has the area to herself. Not that she would go running wildly through the area or swing from the light poles because there is no one else around. That wouldn’t be right.
In the above photo, we had actually just completed our walk all the way around the Epcot Resorts walkway, visiting the Swan, Dolphin, Yacht Club, and Beach Club Resorts. And the light rain had continued to fall off and on during our walk, making the boardwalk of the Boardwalk Resort still wet once we had gotten back around to it. Again, no complaints, as we were happy with the slightly cooler weather conditions and also the cooler photo conditions.
And here we are on the Boardwalk, still smiling despite the wet conditions. Actually, we had each just gotten an ice cream bar from the store right behind us, so maybe we were smiling about eating ice cream. Getting an ice cream bar at the Boardwalk Resort has become something of a tradition for us for whatever reason. Yes, you can get the same ice cream bars all over, but for some reason they seem to be just a little better there. Or maybe it is just that we look forward to getting one from there because of past memories of getting an ice cream bar there. Or maybe it is the subliminal reasoning that we need the energy from the ice cream bar to give us the energy we need for our walk around the resorts. Or maybe they add a little something extra to the ice cream bars to keep you wanting more, although I doubt that is the case. Whatever the reason, we are still hooked, and I would guess that we will be back again for another ice cream bar sometime in the future, whenever that may be.
Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. – Proverbs 23:5
About the photo:
While one of my recent photo processing goals has been to make photos look more sunny, that does not work in the rain. So instead for these photos, I took advantage of the rained-on surfaces and the cloud-filled skies, choosing to emphasize those qualities instead of trying to hide them. After all, if you only have sunny days all the time, you will have a drought after a while. Take the rain with the sun and learn to enjoy both.
Because I think it is beneficial to show the differences that processing makes, here is a before-and-after comparison of the photo of Laura on the Boardwalk:
As you can see, the final version brings out the reflections on the boardwalk surface much more, thanks to turning up the white levels considerably when opening the original Raw file. I then masked in a darker version of the same photo made from the same Raw file to bring out the detail in the clouds.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: July 21, 2017
Location: Boardwalk Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida