By Greg Lehman:
There is much to be said for the old adage “Being in the right place at the right time”. The implication in this is chance and good fortune and, in truth, many a wonderful photograph has come to be in exactly that way – luck.
But in more cases than you can imagine, especially with professional photographers, being in the right place at the right time is a very conscious choice and a good deal of planning and forethought goes on before the shutter on the camera is tripped.
With this image I could see the conditions coming together for a dramatic shot about an hour before the moment. Dark rain clouds above the Blue Mountains east of Walla Walla, general overcast over the valley to the west, and far to the west, near the Columbia River and Tri-Cities, clear skies. I knew as the sun set lower in the west that there was a great possibility of it shining bright and clear beneath the overcast and providing dramatic light.
I drove to a favorite overlook surrounded by wheat fields and waited. Sure enough the sun broke through with grandeur. At the peak time, when the rainbow seemed to settle on Walla Walla, I shot a series of about eight exposures while moving the camera from left to right along the mountains. I later combined the exposures in the computer to produce this very high-resolution panoramic of the scene.
I chose to be in the right place at the right time, but of course, luck still played a part. It will always play a part. I can’t produce a rainbow, but I can be ready with my camera when one appears.