July 29, 2013


Rainbows apologize for angry skies.  -Sylvia Voilor

FOCUS:  Landscape

Ahhh… the illusive rainbow picture.  So many  things have to go right to capture a rainbow that it is almost ridiculous…

1.  First, you need to find a rainbow.  Sounds silly, but it’s true.  Rainbows really aren’t that common.

2.  Then, you need to have your camera ready.  Carrying your camera with you everywhere helps here.

3.  Next, you need to be in the right location.  In this particular instance, I was absolutely not in the right place at the right time.  In fact, I was on the road in rush hour traffic completely surrounded by office buildings when the full arch of this rainbow appeared.  Big bummer.  I ended up pulling off on some side streets and driving around like a mad woman trying to find a clear view of the rainbow.  Luckily, I found a building that backed up to some open space and I pulled into the parking lot.

4.  After that, you need to think about composition.  How much foreground?  How much sky?  Wide angle or zoom?  Deep or shallow DOF?  Polarizer – yes, no?  All of these decisions need to be made quickly as rainbows are notoriously fleeting.  For this shot, I took control of the composition by plopping down on the wet ground in order to minimize the foreground and maximize the sky.  As for technical details, well I must admit that I simply set the camera to ‘P’ and left it at that – after all ‘P’ stands for ‘professional’, right?  🙂

5.  Finally, you push the shutter release and hope for the best.  The point is not to waste so much time fiddling with the camera that you forget to sit back and enjoy the rainbow for what it is – a rare magic show put on by Mother Nature.