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How to Photograph a Rainbow

When trying to perfectly capture all the prism colors when they unexpectedly appear, remember these tips to create the perfect photo of a rainbow.


  • TIP: Use a tripod. Choosing a small aperture means you will need to increase the duration of the shutter speed to achieve a perfectly exposed photo.
  • Step 1: Practice shooting rainbows. Since rainbows are only a combination of sunlight and moisture, you can make your own on a sunny day with a mist of water from the hose. When that unexpected rainbow occurs in the sky you will be ready to shoot, and follow it to a pot of gold.
  • FACT: When you see a rainbow, the sun is always directly behind you.
  • Step 2: Choose a small aperture to give your photo the largest depth of field. This way, most objects in the photo will be in focus.
  • Step 3: Look for foreground objects. Include ones that will add interest to your photograph and remove ones that will distract.
  • TIP: Experiment with different focal lengths and lenses.
  • Step 4: Consider the area behind the rainbow. Focusing on an area that has a clear, dark background will make the rainbow more vibrant.
  • Step 5: Look for an interesting angle. Include the area where the rainbow intersects with another object, where the rainbow begins, or where it ends.

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