Rainbow with reflection from passing storm

At the end of 2011 I had an exhibition of my work showing with a fellow artist at a local gallery. Part of the deal was that we had to ‘sit’ the gallery during the weekend opening hours. I took the Saturday shift and also took the opportunity to photographically document the show. I was putting the final touches to shutting up the gallery when I heard a clap of loud thunder and the afternoon sun disappeared. I had ridden my bicycle across town to the gallery and was literally about to step out the door when the heavens opened. You could just make out the car park through the rain and hail … a little supercell … after all of fifteen minutes it was past and the sun was shining brightly though the rain still falling lightly. I thought “there’s got to be a rainbow following that” and I finished locking up, jumped on my bicycle and set off in the sunshiny rain … I adore sunshiny rain. I love rainbows. Chasing rainbows? Oh yes, let’s go!

Steam was beginning to rise from the freshly washed hot roads. A little way down the street and I could see the forming rainbow and quickly thought of places I could go where there wouldn’t be any powerlines or buildings. I headed down to the eastern end of Lake Burley Griffin, the lake that runs through the center of Canberra. It’s a ten-minute ride from where I am so I ride quickly … the rainbow’s in full blaze when I arrive at my site. I have pretty much all my photogear in the Chariot bike trailer because I had been documenting the show. I put on my Sigma 10-20mm and could see both ends of the rainbow easily within the frame … (one of the reasons I wanted such a super-wide lens was so I could see both ends of the rainbow) … not only that but the reflection of the arc in the water at each end. The small island in foreground is bathed in that brilliant storm-light. This picture won me first prize at this year’s Royal Canberra Photographic Competition.

I talk often on this blog about those times when a picture simply seems to assemble itself before my eyes … this was definitely the case here. It was a beautiful day.

Turning the camera around, I shot the scene behind me with my bicycle and trailer, sun behind the building being constructed, pavement shiny wet.

Do you chase rainbows, or storms or clouds or frosts? Have you ever seen a picture forming ‘just over there’ and raced to capture it?

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