This is the beginning of an ongoing fascination I’ve developed with using alternative stimulus as an imaging source.

Typically in a photograph or solargram we use light.
In a digital camera a photon comes through the lens and collides with a photon sensitive detector that is one of many arrayed in a grid format. This is where megapixel size and aspect ratio comes into play.
In traditional photography this is dictated by the size of the crystals on your film. With black and white for example, it’s silver halide crystals suspended in a gelatin on the film  (more on the details of that when Pin One moves forward)

For this I decided to use raindrops. They move fairly linearly parallel (not exactly which makes it more interesting). They can be focused, defocused or obstructed by objects. And knowing how the rain is falling tells you something about the objects between the ground and the sky.

So, I built a detector….

Raincam Set up


This was pretty fun and exciting..
As you can see, no nails. Just mortice and tenon joints with box joints on the corners. Hand cut and planed,  it was good the neighbors didn’t mind me banging on my chisels and listening to Arrested Development and A Tribe called Quest at 3 in the morning.

I deployed it for the first time in St Petersburg, Florida in a linear format rather than rectangular…
Unfortunately, Dixie Cups are nearly useless and they all disintegrated while I was trying to get my filled masses.

For deployment two, I strapped the flats to my roof and drove to NC. Florida had hit dry season and my first attempt proved to be the last rain for about 4 months.
I placed it under an oak tree and hoped something would come of it in spite its leaflessness.
Here’s the view from the center of the grid.

A nice storm came along with southwest winds and this is what I was able to generate.




All in all i’d say a huge success. In the B&W image, darker is equivalent to greater rainfall, in the color image, red is greater rainfall.
I love how the tree gathers rain to its base…
And, I’ve created a new imaging source. Next I want to build my digital imaging device (designed.. just need money and time) and start working on composition.


1 Comment

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