Chasing Rainbows

October 03, 2013  •  1 Comment

When I first stepped outside the cabin I was staying in that morning, the sky was dreary gray and it was drizzling. I questioned whether it might be wiser to go back to bed and catch up on my sleep. But I forced myself out into the wet, cold autumn air because I had been through mornings like this before and knew that you just never know what to expect from the weather. My intent was to find autumn foliage to photograph along the banks of Suttle Lake, Oregon. As I was looking for subject matter, the sun began to break through the cloud cover — the remains of an overnight rainstorm. The sunrise bathed the west and north bank of the lake with a beautiful warm golden light. I already had my 16-35 mm lens on my camera and began to look for some foreground driftwood or other options for a wide-angle shot across the lake. I left my heavy camera bag on the ground and wandered along the lakefront with my camera on a tripod. I had gone about 75 yards when I noticed the rainbow forming in a graceful arch over the lake. I realized with a moan that my 16-35 mm lens wasn’t going to cut it. Not enough of an impact. I needed something with more reach, like my 24-105 mm, which was in my bag almost a football field away. I knew how quickly rainbows fade, so I tried to prepare myself for an emotional letdown by telling myself that I wouldn’t have the time to get my other lens before this beautiful scene evaporated, so why bother trying. Despite that bit of negativism, I bolted for my camera bag anyway. I was careful to trot rather than run because the last time I ran full bore I pulled a hamstring playing soccer with my son. I grabbed my other lens and a polarizer filter and ran back to my camera and tripod all the while expecting the rainbow to disappear before my eyes. I was thrilled when I finished switching my lens and screwing on the polarizer to find that rather than having faded, the rainbow had gotten even more distinct. I turned the polarizer one way and the rainbow evaporated. I turned it the opposite way and the prismatic effect intensified, with the rainbow’s colors getting richer and darker. Perfect. I was able to fire off three shots before the rainbow lost its pop. Like I said at the start, you never know what to expect from the weather, so don’t scrap a photography outing just because things initially look bleak. Have some patience and you might just be rewarded with an awesome image.

Chasing RainbowsChasing Rainbows


Comments

Alma(non-registered)
Thanks for tip to still try and use a polarizing filter when there is a rainbow and just by turning you can get even deeper and richer colors. I like how you on several blogs keep reinforcing to use a "photographer's eye" despite weather conditions or time of day that could prohibit some from still taking shots which could end up with a nice capture! You have proved this very point on your blog about trip to Valley of Fire in Nevada. Shade and shadows can lend interest to mid-day photos as can clouds on cloudy days. Appreciate your insights you post in your blogs!
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