Rainbow Under a Dark Sky

Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico

Rainbow underneath a dark cloud

Rainbow Under a Dark Sky

The end of a rainbow shines brilliantly underneath a dark and stormy sky over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico.

Rainbow Under a Dark Sky

Thick storm clouds block sunlight except for a narrow area where a stunning rainbow fragment formed between the Sangre de Cristo mountains the dark skies.

The Story

On late afternoons in July, I am always on the lookout for rainbows.  Rarely do I get to see the full arc of a rainbow, since that requires ideal conditions with bright sunlight illuminating a wide curtain of rain.  Sometimes all I see are small fragments of rainbows.

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The Science

Why does the rainbow look so broad, and so bright in this photograph?

Since I used a long focal length lens (300 mm) to isolate the end of this rainbow the angular width of the rainbow is a significant fraction of the angular field of view. If instead, I had used a wide angle lens (e.g., 16 mm focal length) the end of the rainbow would have been tiny in the composition.

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Limited Edition Prints

Rainbow Under a Dark Sky

“Rainbow Under a Dark Sky”   (c) Ed MacKerrow / In Light of Nature.  ( 3840:5120,  4:3, 20170728__D3_3792_AU )