Tip of the Day: How to Capture Rainbows

Forecast calling for rain? Rainbows can’t be far away. The best time to spot one is just before or after the heavy part of the storm when the rain is light and the sun peaks out from the clouds. You can also cheat Mother Nature by finding one around a fountain or sprinklers in sunlight. Having a tripod with you will improve your success rate since the scene before or after a storm can be dark and you may need to use a longer exposure.

Forecast calling for rain? Rainbows can't be far away. The best time to spot one is just before or after the heavy part of the storm when the rain is light and the sun peaks out from the clouds. You can also cheat Mother Nature by finding one around a fountain or sprinklers in sunlight. Having a tripod with you will improve your success rate since the scene before or after a storm can be dark and you may need to use a longer exposure. Polarizing filters are often suggested to accentuate the colors but be careful which way you turn the filter, you can lose the rainbow all together with a turn in the wrong direction. Consider your composition carefully to make the most of the rainbow, leading the viewer's eye into the frame. Even though you may find yourself working quickly take a second to consider the foreground and background elements you include. Try to position yourself with a simple background behind the rainbow so it will not have to compete with a cluttered background. Don't forget to zoom in on just part of the rainbow for a different image.
—Melissa Macatee
Contributing Blogger