Rainbow Photographs

I love rainbow photographs and thought I would share some of mine with you from my trip last year to the Shetland Isles (the northern most point of Great Britain) plus some great shots by photographers in other parts of the world.

The first of the rainbow photographs below was taken by me in November 2009 - a cold month! It shows a cute little Shetland pony and a rainbow in the sky above him. Shetland gets a fair amount of rain because of its northerly latitude so rainbows occur quite frequently. The skies are often dark and mysterious with shafts of light bursting through. Great for getting interesting photos - if you can take the weather!

I used an ISO of 400 as the light was low, a shutter speed of 1/125 sec to ensure all action on the part of the pony would be frozen, and an aperture of f/10 so as to get a fairly good depth-of-field. Also, I focussed about one third of the way into the picture to maximise the depth-of-field.

The second rainbow photograph above shows a double rainbow. It was taken during a light shower over a cliff near Lover's Leap on Otago Peninsula, New Zealand. The photographer used a fairly slow ISO of 64 combined with an exposure time of 1.200 sec at f/11 and a focal length of 7.2mm. Photo by ComaVN.

The next shot is of a supernumerary rainbow, so called because of the repeated green and purple bands just inside the primary bow. No camera data available. Photo by Andrew Dunn.

The dark area between two rainbows is known as Alexander's Band, clearly seen in the above shot. ISO was 200, exposure 1/125 sec at f/5.6 and a focal length of 50 mm. Photograph by Gnangarra on commons.wikimedia.org.

The above image is one of my favourite rainbow photographs. It is so delicate and subtle and the gulls flying through the air give a sense of floating up near the rainbow. The photographer used an ISO of 200, and an exposure of 1/250 sec at f/5.6 with a focal length of 200mm. The photographer, Guido Gerding took this great shot in M├╝nster, Germany.

Ok I cheated a little by including this image - it doesn't belong with the rainbow photos at all as it's what's known as a sundog, or to give it it's scientific name, a parhelion. It's an an atmospheric phenomenon formed by ice crystals which appears to either the left or the right side of the sun. Sundogs occur most often when the sun is low in the sky and can be seen anywhere in the world during any season. Some can be quite bright but more often than not they are like the one in this shot, less obvious, so you need to keep an eye out for them. No camera data available for this image. Photo by Manuel Metz.

Two more shots by me from my Shetland trip. The rainbow photo above shows a tombolo which is a narrow piece of land, the beach in this instance, which attaches an island to the mainland. I was standing on St. Ninian's Isle looking back at the mainland when I took this double rainbow photograph. ISO of 200, shutter speed of 1/250 sec at f/10 with a focal length of 18mm.

In the last of the rainbow photographs, I am actually standing on St Ninian's Isle tombolo, said to be the largest tombolo in the UK. Same settings as the shot above, ISO of 200, shutter speed of 1/250 sec at f/10 with a focal length of 18mm.

I hope you've enjoyed looking at these rainbow photos and now have a good idea of what camera settings might work next time you see one. And don't forget to look out for sundogs!


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