HOW I GOT THE SHOT: Rainbows are rare, unique, compelling, and, as we are reminded by this week’s Torah portion, a symbol of both the flood and God’s promise not to destroy the world again. During the rainy season, I am often propelled from couch to car, chasing these fleeting phenomena over hill and dale while flirting with cardiac arrest. Occasionally I succeed and in the category of “expect it when you least expect it,” I present this image which appeared while I stood on a hilltop in the Judean Mountains preparing for a family to arrive for a portrait session.
Rainbows are rare because several simultaneous conditions are necessary for their appearance. The sun must be low on the horizon (below 42 degrees), which is why rainbows are only visible in the morning or late afternoon. There must also be both precipitation and open sky to allow sun beams to shine through the cloud cover and pass through the raindrops and refract into the colors visible in the rainbow.
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My elevated perspective allowed me to see and capture the entire arc of this rainbow, actually a double rainbow, and if you look carefully, you will notice the color pattern is reversed on the upper arc. The second rainbow is caused by a double reflection of light inside the moisture droplets. Rainbows always appear opposite the sun, with a well-lit foreground culminating in the sky show. They are indeed rare, but rarely are they disappointing.TECHNICAL DATA: Camera: Nikon D300, handheld, manual exposure, center-weighted metering mode, f22 at 1/500th sec., ISO 400. Raw file converted to Jpeg. Lens: Nikon 18-200 zoom at 18mm. Date: Feb. 24, 2012 3:36 p.m. Location: Efrat, Gush Etzion.