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Re: Raining Stair-rods

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 31, 2008 at 15:44

In Reply to: Raining Stair-rods posted by Jeff Watson on May 31, 2008 at 10:01:

: I have just read your thoughts on the phrase 'Raining Stair-rods'. I seem to remember that this phras was coined in the early days of photography when the aperture shutter speeds were very slow.

: When a photographer took a photograph in the rain, the rain was recorded on the film plate as a long thin bar, similar in appearance to a stair rod.

: The ruined photograph was then said to be ruined "Because it was raining stair rods".

Quite logical. It is also true that, our vision being what it is, the "stair-rods" sometimes appear on our retinas as well. Why consider the photographs to be ruined? The "stair-rods" graphically illustrate what the photographer was trying to create--the impression of a heavy rain. Long exposures often show an aspect of the truth not revealed by a short one.
BB

In case there's any doubt as to what Jeff Watson means by "your thoughts," here's a link to "our thoughts," as found in, e.g., the Archive.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/298200.html