Eve and I were trying to catch some lightning shots yesterday, but all we ended up with was this stupid rainbow.
It was a pretty stormy week and we had been out chasing storm photos for several days. My goal was to capture lightning over the skyline, but that never worked out. On Saturday Eve and I were keeping an eye on the radar, and saw a storm rolling in late afternoon. We packed up our gear and headed out to our spot on Wilkinson, west of the city. We hung out for about an hour with nothing but rain, and were getting close to calling it a day. As the tail of the storm was coming up at our back, the sun started poking through. With the storm activity still over the city, straight ahead, and the sun directly at our back, out pops this rainbow.
|When shootin’ rainbows, ya got to keep the rain off your lens|
While I shot for a three exposure HDR, as I usually do, I just couldn’t get to look right in editing, and ended up using the single shot. HDR wasn’t really needed here as the sky was dark, for the most part, and the sun illuminated the landscape nicely. The dynamic range was really confined in this scene and the single exposure worked out best. I had recently upgraded to CS6, which came with the new Camera Raw 7, so this was my first edit with it, and I just love it. The clouds were a little hot so I pulled back the highlights to regain those details. I then played with the curve, contrast, and clarity to get some more detail in the storm clouds. By clicking the image at the top of this post, you can see the original by cycling through the photos with the arrows on the sides. I absolutely love the original as it shows the shadow of Eve and I under our umbrella. I shot this with the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 24-105 @24mm.
The “Rainbow over Charlotte” is available in a limited edition metal up to 90″. It’s also available in an open edition at the online store, with canvas, paper, acrylic, and smaller metal prints available.
Rainbow related links:
- One of several local news spots on the shot
- Brad Panovich, from WCNC, shows us “What’s going on in @Chris Austins picture”.
- Television unveiling of the 1st 90″ metal print with our friends over at Channel 36
Below are the play-by-play updates, as we struggled to keep up with the requests and get these produced. My recommendations are also included.
UPDATE 05/01/12 8:00AM: We received a 30″ acrylic print, but I would not suggest it for this shot. Because the image is panoramic, unframed prints just seem really small. While I definitely think the acrylic quality is excellent, and the construction is top notch, it just doesn’t present this particular image well (same for the unframed canvas). You would really need to get up around 48″ for this shot if you don’t have a frame. The acrylic will however work very well for some of the upcoming releases we’ll be putting in place this week.
The best bang for the buck, for the Rainbow over Charlotte image, in the Open Edition, is definitely a framed paper print. We also received a 30″ framed, and it’s just awesome! I still really like the 24″ here, but the 30″ does offer some serious WOW, and is unquestionably my favorite. I went with a 2.25″ white mat, the “CUL4″ black frame, and the “luster” paper. The dimensions of the final piece is about 42″ x 24″, and when you open this thing, you will indeed be impressed. This is absolutely my recommendation. Note however that any of the larger (3″-4″) frames will look good, so feel free to pick one that matches your decor. I’ve not seen a 36″ framed print yet, but suspect it would be even more grand. It is however about another $100, and more expensive to ship. Bang-for-buck, go with the 30″.
UPDATE 04/16/12 9:00AM: The metal prints are now available and can be purchased here
UPDATE 04/13/12 2:00PM: The 90″ metal print has been hung at Packard Place. Unfortunately they keep business hours, so night and weekend access in unavailable, unless there is an event (I’ll see if any are coming up and post those here). What we did do however is change walls. We moved it to the front lobby wall, facing the street, where it can be seen through the windows. While not as impressive as standing right in front of it, it still provides a good representation for those that can’t get by there during business hours. The wall is a bit small for it, but the position is ideal. Be sure to stop by and check it out.
UPDATE 04/11/12 9:00AM: Today we launched the open edition sales. We’ve sent an email (actually two, the second correcting a link issue with the first), which can be read here. Be sure to read the “Artist’s Recommendations” before you make your selection. Also take advantage of the $10-Off discount by entering Discount Code showing in the email when you check out. This offer will expire 4/16/12.
UPDATE 04/04/12 3:30PM: Today we unveiled the 90″ print with our friends over at WCNC, Channel 36. The first airing will be around 4:15PM today. If you are looking for prints, please join the mailing list (top of this page) to be notified when we’re ready (likely Monday at the latest). While I certainly do appreciate your emails, I have a tough time keeping up with the volume and can assure you that the mailing list is a far better mechanism for ensuring you make the list. Thanks for all of your support. And a big thanks to all those at WCNC; what a great group of people. The first run of the mailing list can be read here.
UPDATE 03/31/12 4:53PM: The mailing list email has been sent (today at 4:50PM). If you did not receive it, check to see if it was flagged as spam. You can use the “Join Mailing List Now” button at the top of this page to see if you are on the list, or add yourself. If by chance you should have already been on the list and were not, add yourself, and please email Eve so we can determine what happened. Be sure to let her know the method of contact you used initially (blog, facebook, email, phone).
UPDATE 03/30/12 9:30AM: Happy Friday! We’ve gotten a lot of things done this week, and we’re getting close. We’re actually ready to roll, pending proof reviews.
I’m really excited about the option we’ve put together for the paper product. Eve has been working on this night and day. We’re also going to be including canvas and acrylic prints on this same page. On the paper print, you’ll have several options of frames, mats, papers, and of course sizes. You’ll get to see a preview of the final product as you build it. Very cool stuff. With all this flexibility, prints can run from $60-$900. You’ll of course have to pay Uncle Sam and UPS. If you happen to stumble on this order page (I see a couple of unexpected hits), do not order, as the image we’ve uploaded has a giant watermark on it, and so will your print. As you can customize your paper print, we are going to host “Show us your Rainbow” on the
Chris Austin, Photographer facebook page (yeah, they finally made me get one, which launched yesterday). We’re going to be running updates on the facebook page so give it a “like” if you would like to receive them on facebook. We’ll of course keep this site updated as well.
Our metal print proofs are expected today. These samples will be for a 90” print, which I’m real excited to see. I believe we’ve selected our metal print house. It’s a little more expensive, but they’re the best in this arena, in my opinion, and having the best quality for the Limited Editions is a must. We have not completed the final cost analysis, but we’re likely looking at a $1,500-$1,600 starting price. These prices will include mounting hardware, tax and shipping. As is typical with numbered, registered, Limited Editions like this, as available quantity goes down, the prices go up. This is why we save the last one for Charity, as it will be worth the most. I think we will hit a price move point during the initial order, however, we will keep the initial price for everyone we have on file now, as well as any of those we collect before they go on sale (probably another week, or maybe even two, depending on proof review). Please don’t email/blog again to make sure you’re on the list. We did a very good job at collecting your email addresses and we will be testing this list well in advance of the sale (testing this weekend, see below).
We will have my personal print (#1) produced before the others. It will be the largest version we are offering, at 90”. We’re looking at possibly unveiling the #1 print on television with our friends over at WCNC. I’ll keep you posted. I thought it would be cool to then take it to a public place for a week or so, where everyone can go check it out. I’m looking for that place now. I’ve reached out to several of the local galleries, but they are either full at the moment, or simply can’t accommodate a piece of this size. This whole thing happened so fast, there simply was no time to plan. I’m open to ideas for a location, so if any of you have one, let me hear it. The space needs to be big, allowing for a lot of viewing distance (at least 25’), and have lighting for a 90” piece.
We’ve assembled and loaded all of your email addresses in to our mailing list system and will be sending the first test email this weekend. It will pretty much be this post. We’ll announce when the email was sent on this page, as well as the facebook page.
Have a great weekend! Maybe we’ll see you out and about.
UPDATE 03/27/12 1:30PM: For the moment, it would help us out greatly if you could simply leave a blog post and put your correct email in the email field (not needed within your post). We can easily extract the email addresses from the website database. Managing the email however is getting hectic. Had we any idea of the response we would see, we would have prepared a separate mechanism for this traffic in advance (which we have started and should have ready soon; I’ll keep you posted on that).
So, here is what I’m leaning toward…
After extensive talks with the team, blog and email comment review, and even having an opportunity to speak with some of you, I think I’ve decided that we’re going to handle this one a bit differently. It really is a great “Charlotte” shot, and I think limiting its availability would be unfortunate.
We will still run the Limited Edition metal prints, and we’re going to increase this count to 1,000. Same deal; #1 goes to me, #1,000 will be auctioned to benefit Charity (998 available). As I mentioned before, metal prints are simply spectacular. We are however going to also offer a smaller paper product that will be more affordable, and will not be limited. We will handle all of the Limited Edition prints, but we are currently working with a few fulfillment houses to handle the paper product.
I polished off the finishing touches to the image this morning and have delivered it to my two metal print shops. As this has not been printed yet, we have to do some samples, and I expect to see the first ones by Friday. I don’t want to commit to anything further, as I’m quite critical at this stage and more sample runs are likely.
As noted, we are looking at a few different paper product fulfillment shops. We of course have to run samples, but we also need to research each one to make sure we are pairing up with the right partner. I’ll keep you posted.
I sincerely do apologize for not being able to answer all of your contact attempts (phone, facebook, email). Please don’t be offended. As you can imagine, I’ve been a bit inundated.
Thank-you so much for your comments, support, and patience.
UPDATE 03/26/12 9:36PM: Based on the demand for this print and after reviewing all of the comments and suggestions, we have come to the conclusion that we are going to have to increase the Limited Edition quantity. Please bear with us while we determine an appropriate number of prints to accommodate everyone’s requests. Stay tuned! We should have the decision in a day or two.
Again, if you have contacted us already (blog or email), and you left an email address, you are on the list.