Apparently Whitefish, Montana has been named the cutest town in Montana by Pure Wow. This morning as I was leaving my house I saw a rainbow over downtown and knew I wanted to photograph it.

If you want to see the list of all 50 cutest towns by state check out:

In one of my previous journal entries I showed the progression of a photograph from where it starts to the final image. For this, I thought I would share some of the attempts to photograph the rainbow before I finally found the shot that I wanted, the one that will run in the paper.

 Rainbow over Whitefish, Montana on 23 September 2016.

Rainbow over Whitefish, Montana on 23 September 2016.

This was my first attempt. There was a truck parked in front of the historic train station, so I wandered around back and got this. This was shot with a 17-35mm lens, but the wide angle distortion which cause the lamp post to not look perfectly vertical bothers me.

I like this better. Same lens, but this angle incorporates the Great Northern statue by the train station.

The truck moved! Thank you. But I still couldn’t get quite the right angle on this. I think I need a cherry picker.

 Rainbow over the Great Northern Brewing Company in downtown Whitefish, Montana.

Rainbow over the Great Northern Brewing Company in downtown Whitefish, Montana.

At this point, I am starting to get concerned that the rainbow is going to fade before I get the shot I really want. It’s 9:30 in the morning, bars aren’t open, but I know the shot I want…I want access to Casey’s Sky Bar. Now all I have to do is find a way to get in there.

The bar was closed, but the crews were cleaning up and preparing for the day. And God bless them, they let me in.

This is the view from the elevator. This is when I knew I had picked the right shot and was getting really close to the photo I wanted.

This is the final image, the one that will run in the newspaper. Our beautiful little town, the wonderful Big Mountain, and a rainbow to fill the sky.

So many times I see people taking their photos, they snap one and call it good. They don’t explore the other options. When time and circumstances permit, my goal is to be like Leonardo da Vinci. Apparently when he sketched things, he sketched them from three different angles. A photographer I admire, DeWitt Jones, calls good photographs “right answers” and he encourages people not to stop with one right answer.

I like the photo of the rainbow and the statue of the mountain goat. I could have stopped there. But I would have missed this shot from the roof. It was worth the extra effort.

If you’d like to see how this process works in terms of a portrait check out this blog entry: