Under the Rainbow

Be ready when the light is right.


August 20, 2022 :: Landscapes


I’m not clairvoyant enough to know what the weather will do. But I do know the surprise of watching skies go from gloomy to glorious after I’ve written them off.


A surprise rainbow at last light.

That’s why we drove to a good location even though it was gray and drizzling when we started out. Good thing we did, too. Just before sunset, a gap in the clouds opened and the best light of the week lit up the old Weber House and painted a perfect rainbow over the whole valley.


Sometimes you’re lucky. Sometimes you’re smart. But always be ready. And so we were for the last light on the last night of our workshop. Seven smiling faces were all we needed to prove we were lucky, smart and ready when the weather smiled on us.



MAKING THE PHOTOGRAPH


SUBJECT: The Old Weber House and Rainbow


LOCATION: Palouse Region, eastern Washington


CONDITIONS: Overcast changing to broken clouds, calm, intermittent light rain, mid-60s F.


EQUIPMENT and SETTINGS: Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm lens zoomed to 45mm, circular polarizing filter, Gitzo tripod, Really Right Stuff ball hear, cable release; Matrix metering mode, Aperture priority exposure, Live View, back-button auto focus.


EXPOSURE: 1/20 sec at f/16, ISO 400


There's not much to say about this photograph but "wow."


To get to "wow" we had to be watchful. That meant keeping our heads on swivels, rotating them from the scene in front of us to the western sky behind us while the light and conditions kept changing. As the light started peeking under the cloud bank, we all lined up our best compositions, talked about exposure settings and watched the scene as the sun slip into the cloud gap.


The light beams got stronger and the rainbow started to grow. Soon the ribbon stretched from near the old house to far across the valley to our left. We zoomed in and out, adjusted our polarizers, moved right and left for different angles and rejoiced about our compositions.


Our efforts and attention yielded rewards when we looked at our images later. We all agreed that we were lucky, smart and ready for the sweet light that capped our last evening together somewhere under the rainbow.