Cascade Rainbow

May 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

A wonderful and unexpected natural event happened as we were on our way home from camping in the mountains of our beautiful state of Idaho this past weekend. It was overcast and rainy as it had been on and off all weekend when, to the East, the clouds parted and the sun cast a warm glow on the spring grass of the fields.  We were pulling our 5th wheel trailer so there was nowhere to quickly pull over on the highway when a beautiful double rainbow appeared to the West.  It got brighter and brighter and my heart was pounding.  I knew I had to get a picture of this beautiful and brightest rainbow I have ever seen.  I could see the whole double rainbow from end to end. I told my husband, who was driving, that he better find a place to pull over because I was about to jump out of the truck. (Ok, I may not have actually jumped out of the truck, but my heart already had and you just never know.  We photographers are a crazy bunch. lol)

He found a place just big enough for our rig to be safely off the road and I jumped out to get the shot. In order to eliminate the power lines from my shot, I ran across the roadway in my raincoat with my camera gear still covered in a rain sleeve from other shooting I’d already been doing out in the elements.  I knew I didn’t have my polarizing filter on my lens, which would help the rainbow colors stand out even more, but I didn’t know how long the rainbow would be visible so I got the initial shot (which is customary when doing what we call “drive-by-shooting”) before heading back to the car for a wider lens and CP filter.  In my haste, I used a cloth that unbeknownst to me had something on it that smeared my CP filter rather than eliminating the dust that was there and I couldn’t get it clean.  My husband said he would get it clean for me so I ran back across the road with the other lens to take some wider shots.

Blog-Cascade Rainbow0008Blog-Cascade Rainbow0008Bright double rainbow with barn in Cascade, Idaho.

By this time, it was beginning to hail, but the rainbow was still visible so I kept shooting;  using different compositions.  If I’d known how much time I had, I would have set up my tripod.  A call from the truck sent me sprinting back to the truck to get my freshly cleaned filter and put it on while leaning into the window as hail continued to fall on my back. (My husband is my wonderful assistant when I’m out shooting!)  I hurriedly tried to get the whole rainbow in my frame, but even with my widest angle I failed to do so. I was just too close to the rainbow.  I then tried a vertical pano but by this time, the clouds were much lower and covered much of the upper part of the arch.  I got some wider and some tighter shots and included the barn that happened to be available for a nice addition to the scene. 

There are so many things to think about when shooting and it’s sometimes hard for me to think of everything as I’m in the midst of an event of such limited and unknown time. The 5 or 10 minutes or so that the rainbow was visible as I was shooting were exhilarating and one reason I love my job so much.  I just never know what wildlife or scene will next present itself around the next corner, behind the next tree or in the next minute. Below is a picture showing a portion of the double rainbow, I will leave it up to your imagination to complete the arch and scene in full. The clouds in this image above  had dropped and obscured part of the arch and the second rainbow was beginning to fade, but I like the added drama added by the clouds. The scene in front of me was quite large. When capturing an entire scene isn't possible, isolating a portion of it is a good alternative and may yield better results; although certain elements of the scene may be sacrificed, others will be emphasized.  See the image below for an even tighter image of the scene, making the barn a more important part of the image while elimination the second rainbow.

Blog-Cascade Rainbow0011Blog-Cascade Rainbow0011Bright rainbow leads near a barn in Cascade, Idaho.

This was a wonderful end to a weekend of time away in nature to rest and renew that we desperately needed, after an emotional few weeks following my father-in-law's passing.  I thank God for the time and for all the wildlife and nature he sent our way this weekend, including closing it out with the beautiful double rainbow and I thank God that my father-in-law is now safely home in heaven forever, though we miss him so.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple…the colors of the rainbow that are so familiar to us.  Rainbows are beautiful, colorful, mysterious and temporary.  But what is the significance of the rainbow?  What is its meaning? In Genesis 9:12-17, we find the answer…

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”


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