This is NOT a digital manipulation or composite. I made this image in 2010, and at the time I posted it on the old website Nature Photographer's Network. I was eager to share what had been one of the more memorable moments of my life in photography. While backpacking into Oregon's Three Sisters Wilderness with a group I was leading, a torrential rain and hail storm pounded us just about the moment we decided to set up camp on Tam McArthur Rim. Everyone rushed to put up the tents and dove in and I was about to, when I noticed a clearing starting to develop. I wanted a lightning shot over nearby Broken Top peak and it was crashing all around with great frequency. I shot and shot hundreds of frames in just minutes without a lightning trigger hoping to catch bolts while alternately wiping my lens. I got a few too, but against the flat grey skies above the peak they lacked as much interest. Then I turned around! I saw the light coming and decided to take my chances with a composition I'd tried before towards a tiny feature on the rim. It isn't my finest, for sure, but whenever there's lighting and rainbows happening at the same time you just shoot, and that's it! I shot on rapid-burst nearly the whole time at 1/10 of a second, as much as my card would write. Somehow I managed to capture a couple bolts in the 3-4 minutes the rainbows lasted, and this was my favorite. I then immediately took a slower shutter speed for the water and merged the two.
At the time, my processing lacked the art it has now, and I rushed it too. The image sat on my website for a couple years but was then removed, as I had intended on updating it but then forgot about it for awhile. This last month has brought me a few rare breaks with which to work on such things so I thought I would share the new version here. I am planning a few storm chasing trips this year so it's a subject area I hope to further in my portfolio soon!