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August 12, 2004


Tips :
1) Small aperture
2) Buy & use a polarising filter
3) Zoom to longer focal length
4) And all 3 will need a longer exposure time so use a tripod
5) Postprocessing : Up the saturation with Photoshop

I've driven right through a rainbow. It was some years ago but I always remembered the way the color seemed all around for that split second. Neat experience.

Stu--I agree with your tips. For the camera that I used at that time, I had no aperture control, there was no ability to change a lens or add a filter, maximum zoom was used for the upper photo, etc. I'm not a photographer, need I say? My new Nikon 1 addresses some of your tips; although, I do not at this time have any filters for it. Most of the cameras in this house are old, old ( is from the 1920s) and, over the years even Hunky Husband has lost interest in using film-loaded cameras. I have not checked to see if any of our old filters could be jury-rigged onto the Nikon 1.

Rain--I'm sure it was an amazing experience; and, I am having a hard time reconciling it with the angular requirements of rainbow production. I'll have to think on that some.

P.S. Stu, it took me only minutes following loading it to learn to loathe Photoshop. Bogie now has it.

I don't like Photoshop either.
I use Irfanview (freeware!) for my online photos.
Here's a sample rainbow :-

I stopped using Photoshop when I realized it makes photos look artificial. I don't even crop photos much any more. The best technique is to take lots of shots and choose the best ones. (That's the luxury of digital photography.)

Stu--While the colors are beautiful in the rainbow that you led me to, and while the photo/rainbow are much better than my photos, I think that Hattie described it well as having an artificial look. (It reminds me of the colors on a postcard from the 1940s.) Maybe next time I'll send the file to you for jazzing up? (Well, okay, I'll give Irfanview a trial, instead.) I must add that the large majority of your posted photos do not have that artificial look. In fact, the rainbow is the first one that I would so tag - that I recall, at the least. Perhaps it is the way I have my monitor set up.

Hattie--That is precisely what the professional photographers in our family (there are three: Hunky Husband's brother-in-law and that B-I-L's two kids) tell me. However, I lose patience and just want the photo shoot to be over! Now you see why I am not a photographer - even in my dreams.

All--While we're at it, there are lots of postings concerning the formation of rainbows. I'll list a few and let Stu list more if he cares to.

How a rainbow is formed
Computer Simulations Shed Light on the Physics of Rainbows
The Mathematics of Rainbows

Congratulations to you on having a rainbow visit, again! What luck!

My husband finally convinced me of the value of a polarizing lens. It does take a bit of thinking for me to remember to use it but it brings out the colors that I am seeing and mostly means no need for adjustments later. I crop a lot though as I don't take the time always to get the composition I want. Cropping lets me do that. Now that I am used to the polarizing lens, always want to use it but it only works with the right light combination. I also use an adjustment that lets me not settle for the automatic shutter speed and I can darken or lighten what I want. I started into cameras when they were not auto anything but got spoiled by the auto settings-- except they don't always give you what you saw with the eye.

Ah....the voice of professionals. That's the gold, btw. Have never ever experienced being at one end of a rainbow-ala you or Rain Truax or Stu. How unforgettable! Do you think it means something?

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