julien coquentin – strange rain

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Julien Coquentin

Strange Rain

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Once again—the sky saturates us with is deluge—accompanied by its loud burst of thunder—we’ve grown accustomed to. How long has it been raining on this city? Mute and indifferent to what has become familiar—we are only sure that the storms have transformed our city and us. It is a strange sensation –living in a gorge –an atmosphere is chronic with humidity as we find ourselves with the sons of the months—embracing the brute infernal noise. Our consciousness compelled us to lie down come nightfall. Wrapped in cloth –we are become saturated by the grounds unceasing stream of humidity, Surrounded by walls of scaling paint—an atrocity; this climate. We all seek release from this fate…as assimilation into the grey void –paled our smiles—–now a blur… evanescent. Self-preservation…means accepting ones fate. We knew that. Kinship of shared experiences found us drawn to each other…creating units of our making. Yet…forced into communities driven by the dying light equated –not genuine fraternity—but mocked relationships with all the defects of hypocrisy. This morning –the church found the entire city in attendance for the sermon. So as to conceal the sound of the thunder—an investment had been made to install a large sound system—affording all to hear. Suddenly, the sound of the rain ceased—leaving the acoustics of the auditorium amplifying the voice of the priest, which filled the church. Bewildered chatter halted to a whisper. A ray of sun light had caused the audience to divert their attention—and one by one they streamed out of this forced shelter. bedazzled by the magnificence of this light, our astonishment intensified… It was this day I knew what silence meant. To be present and yet so far removed



I was born in France in 1976 but now live in Montreal, Canada, where I practice the profession of nursing at night. I never studied photography, I’m just in love with images, shadows and raindrops, gray light and stories … I do not have an expanded curriculum vitae and I walk every day in my city with camera in hand…I am a passer concentrated…photography has eaten my mind for the past three years…


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37 Responses to “julien coquentin – strange rain”

  • Lovely art — literary and suggestive. I could see any of these images as the cover of a novel.

  • Now that is cool. Very nice.

  • Amazing colours, the gray rainy feeling they give me when I look at them makes me look up for any drops! In my opinion the only issue is that the last four were a little repetitive. Great work overall.

  • Grown up in Europe, living in the Tropics, looking at this pictures in August… I find your essay very evocative, Julien, very good work.

    I’d eliminate two or three of the last pictures, though.

  • love it!!

    I like Todd Hido and I like your work as well.

  • Julien

    A lover of the square!

    Beautiful, refreshing work. Living on Vancouver Island as I do, these photographs resonate with me. The cool moist air, the view distorted through drops of rain on wet windows, the dark sky, the wet road through the windshield, the distance obscured, no horizon, the muted colours.
    I love it.

  • Il pleure dans mon coeur
    Comme il pleut sur la ville ;
    Quelle est cette langueur
    Qui pénètre mon coeur ?

    Ô bruit doux de la pluie
    Par terre et sur les toits !
    Pour un coeur qui s’ennuie,
    Ô le chant de la pluie !

    Il pleure sans raison
    Dans ce coeur qui s’écoeure.
    Quoi ! nulle trahison ?…
    Ce deuil est sans raison.

    C’est bien la pire peine
    De ne savoir pourquoi
    Sans amour et sans haine
    Mon coeur a tant de peine !


    I LOVED every ounce of this ache-soaked, loved-tipped, romantized deluge of light and rain and color….the combination of the lens and the distortion arch caused by both the rain and the lens, reminded me of the gorgeous lens work of Sokorov’s film “mother”…and of course, the sentiment and the light and the romanticized ache is absolutely Verlaine! :)))

    i also love the texture that is created, turning the light, as one does in painting, into a physical presence, a physical manifestation of both the light of the place it’s effect…..as a former painter, I love imagery that contains both the physical texture of painting but also the physical ache of what light does…whether with color or black and white….

    indeed, the work is lyrical and works itself into the view the way a poem or story does, not through it’s direct replication of the external world, but as an evocation of what one senses inside of places, pulled up and out by the roots by the draining of the sky upon the earth….

    richly richly cinematic work and I congratulate on it…

    congratulations and thanks so much for sharing your beautiful story…


  • Julien, love your vision of a city in the rain. Each one pulled me in deeper, the roads in the rain, the bridge in the rain. And the statement of the sudden silence. Nice Julien. Having experienced just recently this type of rain and knowing the collective concern voiced by the inhabitants of the area, it really struck home. Your essay speaks of our awe at nature’s seemingly disconnect from her inhabitant’s discomfort and fear of what is happening to our climate.

    Technically speaking, I would lose either #7 or #8. Both are quite good but they are repetitive. The last one is my favorite of your road shots. Feels like the rain is going to wash me over the cliff I imagine on the other side of that railing.

    Congratulations. You have an excellent eye.

  • Congratulations for being published in burn Julien.

    This is indeed a beautiful series of photos. The technique is elaborate and your aesthetic point of view quite clear. The images are very consistent and I would love to see them in print.

    I have to raise a point though. Some people above mentioned images 7 and 8 being repetitive. I have to say that I found almost all of them repetitive, with the exception of nos.1 and 2 maybe. In fact, although I liked all of them individually, there was something uneasy about the whole story. It is a series about rain, strange rain, our relationship with it and nature, about silence. But what I could hear throughout was not rain and thunder but the sound of a car!

    Don’t get me wrong. What I mean is that I love walking in the rain, I hate when rain makes my life difficult and I miss the sound of it. This series has always the same point of view, always some raindrops on the windshield. I feel protected, safe and warm, I never feel wet and it seems that I’m on my way somewhere away from it, with the rain just being there. This is like driving in the rain.

    I hope what I wanted to say came out right, it made some sense. I do like this story a lot, as I said I’d love to see them on a wall. Apologies if I got it all wrong. Will have to check your website now. Congratulations again.


  • I love the colours, the reflections, the rain, the format .. and every single picture here.
    Thanks for showing here and congratulations for being published on burn!

  • Julien,
    Don’t quit your day job it will ruin you.
    So nice.

  • Julian, when someone can make images so evocative, by simply being there, present, while journeying along in a car is inspiring. This is all around us, and you have brought out the wonder in it by seeing. So pleased you saw what you saw.

    Just want to say, wish you had a slide show option on your web site. Or have I missed it? Want to sit back and watch those images role by also.

    Look forward in seeing more of your images Julian.

    Cheers. Peter.

  • Oh damn – being up here at the top of the world in the true domain of frostfrogs where the temperature is slightly above freezing, the wind rips in from the north, straight off the Arctic Ocean and brings with it a fine, misty that cannot be seen until you realize that it has soaked you and is getting into the all the places in your camera that you do want it to get and there is not a tree to be found I have to say…

    I love it. Every image. Don’t lose any of them. Make a book – an image one side of each page and your strange form of writing expanded upon on the other.

    Or don’t. Whatever you want to do, just do it. That is what people who make images such as this – meaning you, specifically, for I know of no one else – should do – whatever the hell they want. They should take advise from nobody but their own muse.

  • Everything it’s very beautiful and innovative, really touching….up until photo number 4!!
    I don’t really understand the need for all the remaining pictures in your essay. They become repetitive, redundant.
    I was really impress by the first four pictures because they are new and they were bringing me to a different dimension. Looking at urban spaces and corners of the city, seem with such different perspective, was awesome. But then, why all those photos of dull open landscapes with tress and sometimes the road? Specially, with those photos the watermark is perceived the same throughout the essay, with the emptiness of the sky revealing the whatever technique you used.
    It was nice and I hope that you have still more pictures like the first 4.


  • These are absolutely beautiful.
    They have the texture of oil paintings.

  • Julien,

    After a particularily grim week of looking at contemporary photography I was feeling very down. So much horrible, lazy work held up soley by long winded, incomprehensible mission statements.
    Then I saw this. Wonderful work which strives to be beautiful and has no pretentions. This is excellent, valid work and congratulations for making it. It may be raining, but boy oh boy did you make my day sunnier! :)

  • Julien,

    These are wonderfull and beautiful photographs :-)

  • Water-colours melting in the rain – much as the world looks beyond my window today. A little hard to fathom to after so many years away. The sequence is tactile and elegant, romantic yet unpretentious but I feel I would like to see more variety and that the last 3-4 images might be best reduced to one?

    A world without people (except the first image) and feels a little empty somehow despite the beauty and soft colours that I love (especially in the first image). Where DO all the roads lead?!

  • “Driving in the Rain” would make a romantic alternative title, if you should wish for another Julien. It came from a comment John made. But, “Take advice from nobody but your own muse!” Frostfrog

  • Just when I thought Burn was going up in flames, along comes this wonderful surprise. A breath of fresh air after recent work shown on here. Don’t lose any of these images they are all a delight, a ray of sunshine….

    And not a tilted horizon to be seen anywhere….Great !

  • These are really wonderful pictures. I come from vancouver so I can totally relate – somehow, even though I am now living in sunny Italy, I miss those gloomy days, with just the right amount of drizzle to make you feel I don’t know, embraced by nature. Does that make sense?

    Anyway, lovely series!

  • delicious,
    like a yummy frosted cake….

  • Julien, thank you for sharing your pictures with us.
    I can see you’re very accomplished (I would have no idea how to begin) and I know this style is popular but these aren’t to my taste, I’m not sure where I am with them, whether the rain is real or whether it’s PS’d on to the picture along with the textures and vignetting etc and I prefer things to be simple….
    Having said that I have taken a look at your website as well and really like your straight b/w images of the trees and roads, and also your diptychs, they’re really engaging and well put together, they hold my attention much more.
    Maybe we’ll see those here one day….

  • First impressions were:
    I love photograph number 1 – really drew me in
    as the essay progresses I can see PS manipulation etc. but it really holds together
    you couldn’t make this your signature look as it would lose its charm and become an effect
    seem like a lot of repetition
    no, it’s not repetition, it’s a journey
    really good essay.

    Congratulations Julien! Really good work. For completeness (for me, just me) I’d like to see the journey end at another place. It starts in the city and then goes on a road trip in the rain. From a storytelling point of view I’d like to arrive somewhere, perhaps a place in the country, just as the rain eases and “look! and rainbow!”. Something from the mind of Julien, of course; not the mind of Mike.

    Best, Mike.


    and just when you think there will be no more “tilted horizons”, we will tilt your horizon..isn’t that the point?

  • “and just when you think there will be no more “tilted horizons”, we will tilt your horizon..isn’t that the point?”

    You already have David…and for that I thank you ! Keep Tilting…..



  • Hello everyone
    I will try to speak in my terrible english and made surreal by the intervention of google translation …:)
    First thank you for taking the time to stop on my work… I was afraid that it might be unpopular…
    Bob Black, thank you for the mention of the prince of poets, my series has one requirement: be built like a poem …
    On repetition, I understand the doubts that you mention, but I build my series with a stable process that becomes like a guiding thread … Vicky Slater tells me of an excess of texture … photoshop … I further understand and admit that now I leave my turn to these processes that Vicki describes as popular…but perhaps to return, my path is lined with photographic doubts …. sac et ressac…
    So now, all that to say that I am very very very proud for this issue in “Burn magazine” and smiling that my photography has been offering some of you beautiful evocations …
    Again thank you.

  • Julien,

    Your words are clear in all languages. Yes you should be proud.

  • Julien:

    Il me fait plaisir de rappeler aux lecteurs de Verlaine, car vos photos et cet essai me rappeler exactement de Verlaine. Comme je le disais, aussi, j’aime ton histoire et sa relation à la peinture: la nature physique de la lumière et c’est l’impression à la fois sur le corps et l’âme. J’avais l’habitude d’être peintre avant j’étais photographe. Pour votre travail, je n’ai aucun doute. Je l’ai aimé dans son intégralité. Je suis désolé si mon anglais était trop compliquée. Mon français est beaucoup plus simple. Félicitations pour votre poème visuel

    -bob :)

    p.s. J’ai beaucoup d’amis à Montréal, dont certains photographes merveilleux. Je m’attends, peut-être, un jour nous nous rencontrerons.

  • i, like Gordon, live in a rainy city also (Vancouver) so i can almost taste these images! i enjoy textures best when they are subtle and I think you did a great job of not letting them take away from the composition or the atmospheric journey. much inspiration to go shooting when the rain visits again! merci beaucoup Julien and congrats!

  • I love the idea and I like the green Mood… well done

  • I wanted to like this essay. The writing distracted me… like an indy art film or something that just seemed way over the top desperate. Thats fine, but the pictures… the pictures would have been fantastic if they were not so diluted by textures and general fake-ness. If you can find the guts to be more natural, you will make wonderful work, I have no doubt.

  • The colours, the reflections, the moment, the composition. Absolutly stunning. And your black and withs I discoverd on your website are stunning too.

  • Having taken the time finally to look thru the latest essays featured, I must say this one is the one that gets much of my suffrages, so much that there is not much left (suffrages) for the others, as essays go. This one is simply not made in the same mould, and maybe that is because Julien has no pretense to tell what one can call one’s own truth, something that can be done a bit too over-bearingly in other works. It goes to show that content can be plenty enough, as photography goes.

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