The storm blackened the sky and drove hard rain sideways. Wind ripped down the open plain, funneled between two huge mountain ranges. The storm developed fast. Luckily I was driving south down a highway and keeping dry...until a small window opened to the West, just a pinhole in the dense cloud bank. I kept my eye on the clouds as I traveled further, and the window continued to open up revealing a wonderfully framed mountain peak. It's moments like these, seemingly fleeting, that surge creative adrenaline through my body.
Some landscape images are made with time, by waiting for light or for the exposure to finish. Others are made with spontaneity, by quick execution in a fleeting moment of interest. In this spontaneous moment, with the storm rapidly changing, I had only a few minutes to find a decent foreground which would also place the distant mountain nicely between the v-shaped ridges in the middle-ground. By sheer luck, an exit ramp appeared. Taking it, I found a huge open field; perfect.
The scene was an obvious panoramic. By manipulating an umbrella and my raincoat, sacrificing my own dryness, I was able to get the camera up and relatively dry. Keeping raindrops off the front lens element is an ongoing struggle when photographing in the rain. That seems obvious, but any drop will cause blur spots, so getting the gear up and ready in a downpour is a struggle, especially when the scene is rapidly changing. In the end, I captured my scene: the storm and middle ground mountains frame an elusive subject; they are curtains, revealing just enough to wish them open all the way.