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Double Rainbow, Sierra Foothills, near Sequoia NP

Posted by
Vaibhav (Stanford, United States) on 30 November 2010 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

During the Thanksgiving break, I decided to join 2 friends for a trip to Sequoia National Park. We camped on snow, snow-shoed in the giant grove and also successfully weathered out a Sierra snow storm in the wilderness. The photography overall was good and sitting in the front seat of my car while returning, with my friend driving, I was happy and invigorated. We have packed all our stuff and my camera bag was buried deep in my car trunk amid backpacks, snow shoes etc. I just had my camera around my neck with a 50mm prime lens on it (which eventually turned vital).

As we started descending the Sierra foothills, the snow turned into rain. After a while I could see the clear sky towards west and immediately my mind started working. Since we driving towards the clearing in a curtain of falling rain, I hoped to see a rainbow. After 5 minutes of descent, we saw a bright rainbow and stopped to click some photos. I had little room for creativity with no place to run with the rainbow on the freeway. And then we continued on our way (still towards west).

Couple of minutes passed, my friend saw a pizza factory and asked 'Do you want to stop here for dinner?' to which I agreed immediately. He stopped the car and I ran out with my camera, crossed the road and found a big parking lot, private houses on hills (allowing me enough space to run around with light) and a rainbow as vivid as I have ever seen. I started to make photos composing whatever I could in the settling. Moving north east, I framed the rainbow with couple of oak trees, running south west, I framed the hills with the oaks and at this moment, the second rainbow started getting stronger. I further ran in the south west direction, the rainbow followed me and eventually I could make the stronger rainbow align with one peak and a tree in the hills. The sunlight then spotlighted the area and using a polarizer turned in the right direction (to make the rainbow more vivid), I made this photo. It felt like a perfect ending and I knew I had a special image. I love moments like these when every thing around me converges into something as powerful as this.

Post processing was very simple and the image is almost as it looked on the camera screen.

NIKON D700 1/60 second F/5.6 ISO 800 50 mm (35mm equiv.)

1/60 second
ISO 800
50 mm (35mm equiv.)