The other night, in the midst of a spat of thunderstorms, my older son came back from playing drums and said, “Dad, look outside.” He never makes comments like this so I popped up from the couch and peaked out the window, expecting to see someone in the church lot or flashing lights—something that would have make him unsettled 1. Instead of something alarming, however, I was greeted with a huge rainbow which looked as though it was anchored in our back yard 2. I shouted, “Oh boy 3 and sprinted up the stairs to grab my G7, which already had my 7.5mm lens mounted.

I burst out the back door, and mummered regrets about not owning a weather sealed camera and lens combination as new rain shower began at about the same moment. I’d wanted to march out into the church lot to get a wide shot of the bow’s full arc 4 and avoided the worst of our neighborhood’s copious amount of wires. Unable to capture my desired angle, I settled for a few exposures from our covered back porch. My favorite is below.

I did some significant developing of the raw file. A color adjustment effect was applied to the rainbow itself, adding saturation to to the colors. I used a blue curve adjustment to bring back some blue in the highlights, and a second curve adjustment to add contrast. I also added a local adjustment, masked to the sky, which added in a small amount of dehaze an cooled the sky a bit more to bring out some more blues 5. Finally, I cropped the image a bit, and erased the wires which cut across the bow. I’m pleased with the results!

A rainbow appears in the midst of a thunderous evening.
Panasonic G7 with 7.5mm 7artisans lens • ƒ/1.7 • ISO 200 • 1/8 sec

  1. His eighteen year old affect hasn’t recovered an “awe” setting just yet, so all urgency sounds like an emergency. 
  2. Yes, I know rainbows don’t have anchors, just roll with it. 
  3. I am a small child at heart. 
  4. In retrospect, this would have been a bad idea, as there were lightning strikes nearby. But the shot would have been amazing. 
  5. I also added some contrast.