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cityrain

Images by Bill Sosin


“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.”

—Georgia O’Keeffe


cityrain billsosin.com Š 2013 Bill Sosin


What began as a spontaneous shot taken whimsically through the car windscreen on a rainy day in Chicago expanded into an ongoing investigation into ephemeral aspects of the city.

cityrain Suddenly impressionistic umbrella studies; images of shadowy smokers exiled from non-smoking office buildings; figures emerging from arcades of neon; vehicles engulfed in avalanches of snow, and wandering, isolated silhouettes reveal something about the irrevocable influence of the elements and the paradoxical loneliness of the metropolis.


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Lights and color meld into water and glass, bending perception, creating a fantasia, a new shore of intrigues.


“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.”

—Diane Arbus


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Sometimes you see it coming. Sometimes it surprises you. Always it becomes something else.


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A

while back I ran across some negatives I shot from my car in the old film days. I was intrigued by them and began photographing from inside my car again. Driving around Chicago in a downpour I had glazed over momentarily at a stop light as the droplets of rain gathered on the windshield and the chromium vapor of the street lamps blurred behind them. I let the cinema window of the car become obscured with the pebbles of water and then photographed them‌

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What started haphazardly became an obsession and I have now captured hundreds of these images. Generally the texture of the precipitation is kept in focus, and the shape, weight and direction of the droplets can change according to windflow and the severity of the rainfall. Activity in the city streets is set in shallow focus behind this. Neon fluorescence and radiant red light from car brake lights are common themes, but more abstract and suggestive patterns are created by silhouetted pedestrians hastening along with pendulous umbrellas; vehicles such as towtrucks or sixteen wheelers, made more ominous in the dreamscape of their out of focus state; or lonely objects in storefront windows, rendered redundant by the inclement weather. The pure refractions of light are controlled by the lens choice, focus and exposure, blurred into kaleidoscopes or minimized to retain narrative detail. I search for different colorations, shooting at various times of day when the hue of the sky can contribute to the tableau. Š 2013 Bill Sosin


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Plates

Š 2006 / 2013 Bill Sosin www.billsosin.com Volume 1, Number 7 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Designed and produced by Paper Mirror Press, Chicago. ISBN 978-0-9707278-6-0

3 In the Loop 5 Stop Lights 6 Dark Man 7 Delivery 9 Jump Room 10 Bucktown 12 Rush Street 13 Rain Blur 14 Wabash 15 Tandem 16 Avenue 17 School Bus 18 Light Bar 19 Chase 20 Metal, Water, Tree 22 Snow Walker 23 Lincoln Avenue 24 Mary Lynn 27 New Town 28 Incognito 29 Headlights 30 Pneuma 31 The Dreamer 32 Marquee 33 Truth Before Fear 34 Sotto Voce 35 Semblance 36 Carry On 37 Transit 38 Snow Puzzle 39 Red Gloves 40 The Dress 41 Superior Street 42 Red Wall 43 Corner 44 Duo 45 Rider 46 Shelter 47 Back Drop 48 Vapore 49 Silhouette 50 Dark Parade 51 Headwind 52 Colloid 53 Night Walk 54 Polar Bear 55 Thinker 56 Lumera 57 Street Light 58 Nocturne 59 Black Hat 60 Triad 61 Blue Man 62 Traveller 63 The Bridge 64 Cascade 65 Windows 66 Afternoon Rain 67 Checker Taxi 68 Rain Dance 69 Grant Park 70 Metaphor 71 Clark Street 72 Local Knowledge 73 Prada Man BC Bucktown


cityrain Images by Bill Sosin

cityrain B ill S osin

Paper Mirror Press

papermirror.com

ISBN 978-0-9707278-4-8 Š 2013 billsosin.com

Profile for Bill Sosin

City Rain / Bill Sosin  

What began as a spontaneous shot taken whimsically through the car windscreen on a rainy day in Chicago expanded into an ongoing investigati...

City Rain / Bill Sosin  

What began as a spontaneous shot taken whimsically through the car windscreen on a rainy day in Chicago expanded into an ongoing investigati...

Profile for billsosin