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Rain Work

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

Rain Work billsosin.com Š 2018 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.

rain work 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.

To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. —Henri Cartier-Bresson

PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERS CUP HONORS PHOTOGRAPHER BILL SOSIN FROM USA LOS ANGELES May 5, 2014 - Bill Sosin was presented with the 7th Annual Photography Masters Cup 1st Place in the category of Silhouette at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photoshow webcast Saturday, May 3, 2014. The live online gala was attended by photography fans around the globe who logged on to see the climax of the industry’s most important event for color photography. 7th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Contrasto, Rome; Kahmann Gallery, Amsterdam; Galerie Simon Blais, Montreal; Barbara Frigerio Contemporary Art, Milan; Clair Galerie, Munich; and Ingrid Deuss Gallery, Belgium who honored Color Masters with 274 coveted title awards in 18 categories. “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 7,416 entries we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “Bill’s “Heavy Weather,” an exceptional image entered in the Silhouette category, represents contemporary color photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present him with the title of 1st Place.” INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS, PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERS CUP is the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography. www.photomasterscup.com

Heavy Weather 9



Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information. —Man Ray




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


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 2018 Bill Sosin













Š 2006 / 2018 Bill Sosin www.billsosin.com Rain Work Volume 1, Number 1 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 Bill Sosin. Chicago

3 Light Rain 5 Two Walkers 6 Quarter Light 7 Inflection 9 Heavy Weather 10 Color Field / Black Jacket 11 Purple Umbrella 12 Back Light 13 Memento 14-15 Ground Cloud 16 Sunset Traffic 17 South Mich 18 Solitaire 19 Apparition 19 Ground Cloud 20 Street and Sky 22 Abstract #12 24 Free Jazz 25 Man On Street 26 Winter Sunset 27 Rivulets 28 Mirage 29 Boule Mich 30 Crossing 31 Akimbo 32 On The Wing 33 Man Out 34 Realm 35 Gesture 36 Green Season 37 Launderette 38 Spoon Nebula 39 Teal Sky 40 Invisible Man 41 Relativity 42 Snow Shower 43 Suspension 44 The Couple 45 The Joker

Rain Work

Š 2018 www.billsosin.com

Paper Mirror Press

Profile for Bill Sosin

Rain Work, Complete Vol.1  

Awhile 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...

Rain Work, Complete Vol.1  

Awhile 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...

Profile for billsosin