This set of 5 images have become some of my most well know images and truthfully it has came unexpectedly. I have had a lot of people ask me to go into more detail about how these were captured, so that's what I am going to do here. This is a full account of what lead to me being at the right spot at the right time.
My wife Jody and I were at our nephews birthday party at the local put-put place in Kingsport, TN. The weather could of not be any nicer. Blue skies and 90 degree weather and I was doing fairly well at put-put. No hole in ones, but a bunch of 2 strokes. We finished our round of put-put and said our goodbyes and started to head home. My wife said she didn't want to go home, she had been in a building at work all week and just wanted to go for a ride. I asked her if she had any specific place in mind and she said no. Well... any chance I get I always head somewhere where I can take a picture so I started towards Asheville, NC in hopes of catching a sunset.
We made it into Asheville and the sun was starting to set and I had about 20 miles to get to a place I had in mind. As soon as I pull onto the parkway and like clock work I hear "I have to pee". I looked at her and said really? So... like a good husband I try to find a bathroom for her as quickly as possible. I went to the visitors center there a couple miles up on the Parkway and sure enough they were closed. So I darted back down off the Parkway and went in search of the closet bathroom I could find. After about 2 miles I found a McDonalds. I got a couple of large fruit punches and we were on our way back to the Parkway as the sun started to sit. I told myself that God puts you were he wants you and what ever you get you get.
Coming out of Asheville their are not a lot of overlooks, you have to work your way back up the mountain, so that's what we were doing. Once we got up to a higher elevation I could see the sky turning pink and orange. I started to get excited and about 4 miles from Pisgah Inn I found a spot to take the sunset. As soon as I got the tripod got set up and the camera focused the sun started behind the mountain. I got 3 frames of the sunset, but I got it. I was excited that I had just made it.
As the sun dipped behind the mountains storm clouds started to move in. I decided to pack it up and head down the parkway to see if I could find another angle. The sky was turning a very nice pink color and I wanted to see if I could find a more open area to shoot from. About a mile from Pisgah Inn my wife said "look at that rain, it's so pretty, it's purple". Well I slammed my brakes and pulled off and said yep! it is! I pulled my tripod out and got my camera up and I started to notice all of the lightening flashes in the clouds. There were no streaks, just bright flashes. I really wanted to capture that with the "Purple Rain", but I was happy getting whatever I could.
I had plenty of time to get what I wanted, it went on for about 10 minutes before the color began to fade and the rain started to move in on us. It was beautiful to watch honestly. As the rain fell it would fall in waves and the color from the sunset really made it a magical moment. The "purple" color was created because the rain fell in front of the pink sky put off by the sunset. The rain came in between us and the sunset which allowed my wife and I to witness this. I always shoot in manual, so to get the exposure I wanted, I exposed for the sunset in the background. Now, I do not know how rare of an event like this is, but it was the first time I had ever seen it. It will probably happen again to some other lucky folks and I hope it does.
After packing up my gear I thought to myself and laughed because I had been telling myself God puts you where he wants you in my head since my wife said she had to pee. If she would not of had to pee, I would of missed this great spectacle. So for all of you other husbands out there that hates to hear the words "I have to pee" or something else along those lines, just remember everything happens for a reason.
I knew I had captured something I really liked, but I had no clue that anyone else would like these images as much as I did. They have been shared all over the country and I have done several interviews about them. I am very thankful for all of the positive feed back and the exposure I have gotten from these images. I have also had many people ask me about ordering prints as well, all you need to do is head over to my contact page and fill out the form and we can go from there. I am really good about getting back to the messages, Usually within a day.
Here is a link to one of the interviews I did, it was on the Mother Nature Network.
Thank you for reading and thanks for all your support!