Magic Moment

Maybe it's the old Boy Scout in me, but I'm a firm believer in the motto, "Be Prepared". No where is that motto more important than in photography. We never know what will happen in the world around us so it's good to be ready just in case a magic moment happens; last week was a perfect example. I was in Jersey City, NJ shooting a corporate CEO portrait with the lower Manhattan skyline as the backdrop, we had a small window of opportunity but the weather was not cooperating. A huge summer thunderstorm rolled in rapidly from the west, complete with heavy rain and plenty of lightning; it was quite dramatic and we all took cover in a local Starbucks. It would have made sense to just abandon the shoot and try again another time, but the storm was moving so fast that I felt it might be worth waiting to see if the clouds parted in the west and gave us a nice sunset. While the gray skies and rain continued over NYC, the skies over NJ did break and the setting sun threw a golden light on the skyscrapers of New York.  We were shooting some portraits, using both 85mm and 135mm lenses, balancing the light with a strobe pop, warmed with an 81b gel, when I noticed a rainbow starting to form. In less than a minute a full rainbow--from river to harbor--framed lower Manhattan; I have never seen anything like it before. A portrait lens wouldn't be nearly wide enough to capture the scene, but luckily I was prepared for anything and grabbed my 17-40mm zoom. I interrupted the portrait shoot just long enough to shoot 3 frames of the rainbow before it started fading away; it all happened so fast and I was thrilled to have seen it and captured it. I'm so glad I was prepared to capture such a magic moment.

 I was so happy to have a wide angle lens with me when this rainbow appeared!   Canon 5D Mark III, 17mm lens, 1/60th sec at f5.6 ISO 500.

I was so happy to have a wide angle lens with me when this rainbow appeared!   Canon 5D Mark III, 17mm lens, 1/60th sec at f5.6 ISO 500.