Photographing a Rainbow in Orlando

What is it about rainbows? This guy went nuts over one:

I’ve blogged about it before.  Maybe it’s the challenge of actually capturing the vibrant colors AND creating an image that will move people. If you clicked the previous link, you saw my attempt. The story behind that is here. I only ever seem to see a rainbow when I’m in a car and that time I just happened to have a camera with me.  Usually,  you have to stop what you’re doing and race to get your camera before the fleeting moment disappears.

That’s what happened last week to Reg Garner when an awesome rainbow appeared over downtown Orlando.

Rainbow over Downtown Orlando

Reg Garner

I was at my desk in downtown Orlando when the receptionist called and said “you must to come up front right now”. When I asked why, she said, “you HAVE to see this rainbow and take a picture”. Well, I’ve seen a lot of rainbows and truthfully was not all that interested but to appease her decided to she what all the fuss was about.

To my amazement, there was an incredible rainbow that seemed to span the whole city with both ends in full view. I scurried to get my camera gear as a cloud moved in and it to totally disappeared in front of my eyes.

Disappointedly, I went back to my windowless office and about 10 minutes later another employee, that knows I take a lot of pictures, came to tell me that it was BACK! This time I had my camera ready and quickly had him drive me a few blocks away to get a better vantage point.

I walked up and down Anderson Street in the rain trying to keep the rain drops off the lens. I knew from the first “click” that I had an amazing photo. I almost always have my camera with me and convinced that 80% of getting a good photo is just being there (with a camera). 

Like they say, always have a camera with you! Anyone traveling on I-4 at the time saw it and more than a few people took pictures from wherever they were. The Orlando Sentinel asked for submissions. Reg, a recent president of the Orlando Camera Club, posted his pictures of the rainbow on Facebook. I saw them and let him know the Sentinel was looking for submissions. I felt his images were far superior, not only because of the contrast and saturation…but it was the composition.

Rainbow over downtown Orlando

Reg Garner

If you look at the other images on the Sentinel gallery, most of them lack that “wow” factor. Sure they captured the rainbow, but it doesn’t leave a mark. It doesn’t tell a story. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Scott Kelby’s advice to getting a really good rainbow  is to shoot it in relation to something. In other words, compose it so that it’s not just about the rainbow, but the context of the surroundings. Reg could’ve taken the shot from the office window as someone else did, but instead, he hopped in a car to chase it down and frame it..compose it…you know, really make a picture.

Rainbow over Downtown Orlando

Reg Garner

In case you think Reg is just lucky, one of his rainbow images is hanging in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Rainbow over windfarm

Reg Garner

Now that’s golden!

On a different note, if you’d like to add a little color to your photography, check out the limited edition Pentax-Kr.

Pentax K-r

Pentax K-r

Pentax is making 100 of the cameras and selling them with a 35mm f/2.4 for about $1200 beginning December 24th.

It won’t help you take better rainbow pictures, but it might add a little color to your photography!

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3 thoughts on “Photographing a Rainbow in Orlando

  1. Pingback: The Online Camera Store » Blog Archive » Photographing a Rainbow in Orlando « Harry Lim Photography's Blog

  2. Pingback: My Blog: 2010 in review « Harry Lim Photography's Blog

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