Julian Ray Photography

Monsoon Molds & Mildews

The Monsoon season has fully arrived here in the Mekong Delta. For me this is the best time of year to shoot. Yes, the rains bring certain challenges but the transformation that all the dusty streets, dull walls, and dried fields undergo is amazing.

Recently I was invited by a friend to be the guest leader ’Clicker’ photographer to his “Street Photography” tour in Myanmar. Alas my schedule only permitted me one day to join the group.

Each morning the group gets together and the plan for the day is played out. A short presentation on locations, logistics, and technique is shown, equipment is checked and the group goes forth. When I started with my day’s pre planed presentation everyone seemed to be more preoccupied with the looming black clouds and building wind. That was my cue. In looking at what the group had shot in the days before I could tell they where not seeing the gift that the rains give every photographer. Colours!

Slightly diverting from the days agenda I decided to take the group in a different direction, both physically as well as conceptually. After a lively discussion about the art and beauty that is all around us -if we are open to seeing it the group had a change of heart. Instead of worrying about getting wet or keeping their gear dry they got excited to go explore the back streets of downtown Yangon with new eyes.

That became the day’s focus. To see the wondrous, amazing, almost comical colours and textures that seem to explode when the Monsoon rains start.

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“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”
―Langston Hughes

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“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
―Rabindranath Tagore

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“In Paris, everybody is in black! But you know, in Ukraine everyone wears bright colours.”
―Olga Kurylenko

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“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
―Ashley Smith

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“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.”
―Langston Hughes

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“I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”
―Winston Churchill

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“In every drop of rain
A red or yellow color buds from the seeds of flowers.
Every tear wept by the hungry and naked people
And every spilt drop of slaves' blood
Is a smile aimed at a new dawn,
A nipple turning rosy in an infant's lips
In the young world of tomorrow, bringer of life.
And still the rain pours down.”
―Badr Shakir al-Sayyab

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“I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.”
―Pablo Neruda

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“The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling.”
―Lucretius

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“The rain begins with a single drop.”
―Manal al-Sharif

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“I love the rain. It's my favorite weather.”
―Kristen Wiig

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“I became intrigued with colour theory. The absurd pronouncements of the Colour Institute, a group that decides what colours are hot each year or season, amused me.”
―John Barton

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I look forward to seeing you out there….

Thank you,

Julian Ray
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