Some photographers regard landscape photography as being more akin to fishing than to hunting. Not I. For me, landscape photography is often a chase; a chase of subject and light, for when they come together to create a special, and usually fleeting and unique, moment.
So it was when I captured the RAW file that became Rainbow Lake. Three other photographers and I had been driving in heavy rain for three days along the eastern coast of Iceland. Seeing no break in the weather we decided to head inland, toward the highlands, hoping to get above the clouds. It wasn’t long before we started to break into brighter light, and as we rounded a curve on a mountain road we saw a rainbow forming over a dark volcanic valley filled with a small lake.
I jammed on the brakes as soon as it was safe to stop. We all jumped out of the car and started shooting hand-held. There was no time for tripods, nor even to change lenses. I shot with what I had on the camera. Within seconds the rainbow faded, the clouds closed in again, and the moment was over.
That evening, looking at the image on my laptop’s screen, I was concerned that the image lacked the magic that my memory held. As so often is the case, the file looked not at all the way that I remembered the scene. The rainbow had appeared more intense, the foreground blacker, and the lake more sparkling. This obviously was the way I wanted it to appear in a print, and so now the task was to use whatever tools and skills I had to get it to look that way.