I remember creating this image as if it were yesterday, although it wasn’t meant to happen, strange things occur out in the desert. It was March 1995, almost 20 years ago. I was on day 15 of a 20 day photo trip in the Arches and Canyonlands area, I hand been photographing Arches National Park for the last 3 days and was ready to head home and spend a Day at Goblin Valley. I waited that night for a sunset at Arches but it never happened, some rain moved in and the clouds never opened up. Checked the map and it looked like I could cut over on Willow flats road on the north side of the park to Hwy 191 (Back then I had my 1991 Isuzu Trooper…… Damm I miss that truck!). By then it was pitch black, I was crawling along this dirt trail when I saw water running across the road and decided I better not try to cross. Ok I thought to myself, just sleep in the back of the trooper and head back in the morning…..and if the light looks good stop at North Arch. I woke up 1 hr before sunrise and drove back to main Arches road and headed over to North Arch. Parked at the lot as dawn started to show. I grabbed my backpack and tripod, back then a Wista metal 4×5 with 5 lenses and 10 4×5 film holders loaded with Velvia, and a heavy ass Bogen tripod. The morning light ight was coming up quick as I climbed through North Arch to the back side. It was shaping up to be sweet, I spotted a little shelf where I climbed up to and started setting up as fast as I could.
“Holy crap its happening the light going to be great” I remember telling myself. Turret Arch behind North Arch has started to light up, gotta make quick decisions 135, 90 or 75mm. Decided to go with 90mm to get some foreground in the image. Put the dark cloth over the camera, a little rise on front element, I am talking to my self at this point, “this is freaking coming together” I start to get the shakes, grab the loupe, ok a little tilt and I am all in at f16 , as I am checking focus with loupe I see the rainbow over Turret Arch ” Oh Sh*t” gotta move faster. Spotmeter on highlights turn the knob to get correct exposure. I expose 2 sheets of Velvia, then as I insert another film holder and rainbow gone.