Seeing a double rainbow is a relatively rare treat, but how about three or four rainbows? Scientists have only reported seeing triple rainbows five times over the past 250 years, but German photographer Michael Theusner was recently able to capture this first ever photograph of a fourth-order rainbow. Ordinary rainbows (first and second order) appear in the area of the sky opposite the sun (and aren’t seen in his shot), but when higher order rainbows appear, they show up on the sunward side.
Last year, U.S. Naval Academy meteorologist Raymond Lee and a colleague, Philip Laven, laid out a prediction for the conditions that would produce third-order rainbows, and they challenged rainbow-chasers to go out and find one. Among the requirements: dark thunderclouds, and either a heavy downpour or a rainstorm with nearly uniform rain droplets. If the sun broke through the clouds under these conditions, it could project a dim tertiary rainbow against the dark clouds nearby, they said. [#]
Back in May, a photographer named Michael Grossman followed this advice and succeeded in capturing the first ever photo of a third-order rainbow. Lee’s challenge and Grossman’s success are what inspired Theusner to try his hand at photographing higher order rainbows. You can find more background info on Theusner’s blog and in his recently published scientific paper.
Whoa! It’s a quadruple rainbow! [MSNBC]
P.S. Capturing all four rainbows in one shot is exceedingly difficult and hasn’t been done yet. Now there’s a challenge for those of you looking for a difficult photo assignment.
Image credits: Photograph by Michael Theusner/Applied Optics
At the Bring to Light nighttime art festival in NYC last weekend, artists Sean McIntyre and Reid Bingham showed off the Rainbow Tracer — a programmable rotating bar of LEDs that paints giant rainbows into the backgrounds of group portraits.
Apparently this is what Pentax considers “legendary collaboration”: a Korejanai robot edition (Korejanairobomoderu) of the K-r DSLR. It doesn’t boast any spec upgrades from the stock version, but instead sports a wacky primary color paint job and a robot head attached to the hotshoe. You’ll also get a matching special edition 35mm ƒ/2.4 prime lens to complete the
horrifying awesome look. If only these were working DSLR cameras that also transformed into robot action figures.
Only 100 will be sold at a price of ¥99,800 (~$1,190), and pre-orders start at midnight on December 24, 2010.
Legendary collaboration again! (via Engadget)
When the leaves on trees are just starting to change color in the Autumn, try collecting them and arranging them into shapes with a spectrum of colors! The above example was created with Maples leaves by Flickr user Mr. dale.
(via Laughing Squid)
Image credit: Autumn Spectrum 10/10/10 by Mr. dale
The Internet viral sensation “Double Rainbow” video was captured on January 8th, 2010. About two weeks later on the 23rd (and long before that video went viral), I saw a double rainbow myself when looking out my window. I quickly grabbed my camera (a Canon 40D at the time) with my 16-35mm lens (I wanted the widest shot possible) and ran out to shoot the rainbow.
Pentax has unveiled a new “Rainbow” version of the K-x DSLR camera. The limited edition camera will only be available in Japan through Tower Records starting on July 23, 2010.
Only 1,000 of these units will be made, and each one will set you back ¥74,800 (~$800). Aside from the funky colors, the technical specifications of this camera are exactly the same as other K-x DSLRs:
The camera is part of a 2010 campaign with a “Rainbow” theme by Tower Records that also includes footwear, t-shirts, and backpacks.
Selling strange looking cameras is nothing new to Pentax — they already allow you to customize your colors, and last year they released a limited edition “robotic” themed camera.
Here’s a quick idea for you to try if you’re looking for some photo inspiration (after all, we have a whole section devoted to this kind of thing). I haven’t spent much time hashing out this idea, so it’s pretty undeveloped compared to some of the other walkthroughs I’ve written. Maybe one of these days I’ll go out with my assistant (AKA my brother) and really shoot this concept.
What You’ll Need
In addition to your camera, this will require:
- A nice outdoor location
- A garden hose
- Something that can generate mist (i.e. garden hose spray gun)
- An assistant
What To Do
Be sure it’s a pretty sunny day outside. Rainbows might be hard to catch if there’s too little direct sunlight (kind of the opposite of fish?).
You’ll want to stand somewhere between the sun and the mist. Otherwise, you’ll end up with photos that look like these:
Even though they might be interesting, you won’t end up with any rainbows shooting out of the spray gun.
Have your assistant spray mist in your general direction, and try to move around to see if you can catch a glimpse of any rainbow that may result. If you locate this rainbow, reposition your assistant’s spray and your own location until the rainbow matches up with the spray nozzle in your assistant’s hand.
I haven’t experimented much with the location or background, but try to keep the background dark to have the rainbow stand out more in the photo. Also, try shooting wide open (largest aperture) if possible, to throw the background out of focus and further bring out the rainbow.
That’s about it! If any of you try your hand at this idea and have interesting results, please do share it with us by linking to your photograph in the comments!