'Life is all about perspective:' Photographers turn Seattle's puddles into works of art
With Seattle's frequently rainy weather, puddles are a near-permanent fixture on our region's landscape. But for some, they're not just potential landmines ready to soak a sock or doom you to walking around with squeaky shoes, they present an artistic challenge.
There are two photographers locally who especially relish the idea of using puddles as a way to get a special photograph: Scott Cahill Rude, who runs "Reflecting on Seattle" and Chancellor Merchant, who posts under "Endless Reflection Photography."
Rude has a studio showcasing his work at Pike Place Market and spends most of his time capturing Seattle landmarks in the reflections of puddles.
"Basically my whole approach to photography is finding beauty in unexpected places. I like to use one of the things that Seattle is known for, (rain) and turn it into something beautiful," Rude said. "I think it's interesting how, just by changing one's perspective, something as common as a puddle can become a work of art."
He says he displays most of his puddle reflections upside down.
"I like how just by turning the photo over it changes the whole perspective. At first people usually think that my pictures are Photoshop creations or layered or double-exposures, but it's literally just making the choice to look at something in a different way," Rude said.
Merchant is based out of Bellevue, but like Rude, finds joy in the little things.
"I love shooting in the city of Bellevue and showing the beauty it offers. Seattle as well," Merchant said. "I love getting shots of what people take advantages of on a daily basis. The little things to me is what brings me joy and what I love photographing."
And for him, that includes finding that perfect reflection.
"I definitely love looking for puddles that reflects buildings and things that we would normally walk past," Merchant said. "Different perspectives and views of the cities, growth of the cities especially Bellevue its amazing to see our city grow right in front of our eyes and to capture a part of history being made. I'm very passionate about that."
And both would tell you that though this past winter and spring have tested even most of the most ardent locals' tolerance for persistent rain, the rain is a blessing.
"I never understood why rain is always thought of in such a negative way; it's literally just water falling from the sky," Rude said. "I think it's important to maintain a positive perspective on things and I try to show people that just because it's raining, that doesn't mean it has to be a 'bad day'. It will be a wet day, but my approach is that that doesn't have to be a negative thing. A lot of tourists come into my shop and ask me 'When is it nice in Seattle?', I tell them that it's ALWAYS nice in Seattle; some days are just wetter than others! Life is all about perspective."
Spoken like a true Seattleite!